Letter from Campus Nurse, Carla Hagan

HomeCampus & CommunityLetter from Campus Nurse, Carla Hagan

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Dear students,

Your health and wellbeing during the coronavirus crisis is my most important task. Please review the following information carefully. Due to our current situation, a few of the day-to-day procedures have changed during this time. The leaders of Fontbonne University and myself are constantly monitoring the situation, spread of COVID-19, as well as investigating best practices for health and safety of our students.

Visiting the Nurse

If you would like to see me regarding a certain health issue or questions or concerns addressing the coronavirus, please call (314-889-4784) or email me (chagan@fontbonne.edu). I will do my best to return your email as soon as possible between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Symptoms of COVID-19

People with COVID-19 do not have a runny nose or nasal congestion. Symptoms to be aware of include:

  • 100.4 fever or higher – 90% will have fever.
  • Dry cough – 70% will have a dry cough.
  • Shortness of breath – for those who become more acutely ill. Shortness of breath refers to unexpectedly feeling out of breath, or winded. It is common to get short of breath and then it goes away when you calm down. However if you find that you are breathing harder or having trouble getting air each time you exert yourself, you need to call your doctor. Meanwhile it is important to remember that if shortness of breath is your only symptom, without a cough or fever, something other than COVID-19 is the likely problem.

While COVID-19 spreads from person to person, more than 80% of the patients who develop it will only become mildly ill. The concern is for patients with underlying medical conditions and the elderly, who are more likely to need hospital-level supportive care.

Coronavirus Testing

Mercy Hospital has opened a drive-through testing location. Here is what you need to know and do before visiting the test site. The Mercy test collection site is exclusively for patients who have a fever of at least 100.4 degrees and respiratory symptoms including cough or shortness of breath. Before getting a test, you need to call Mercy’s COVID-19 Clinical Support Line at 314-251-0500.

Get your flu shot

It is not too late to receive the Influenza vaccine. Any prevention from getting Influenza will keep your immune system strong.

Practice safe coughing

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Put your used tissue in the wastebasket. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands. When washing your hands, wet them first with warm water, apply soap. Wash all surfaces thoroughly for 20 minutes then rinse. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Here is a video on how to practice effective coughing.

Washing hands

This is the best practice to prevent the spread of Covd-19. It is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to others and throughout and entire community. Here is a video for you to watch on how to wash your hands.


If you feel you are sick, have a fever, cough, feel run down, have muscle aches, Stay Home! Limit crowds and gatherings. Notify me by phone or email if you have any questions about your symptoms. Practice safe coughing and hand washing. Practice routine cleaning; regularly clean your doorknobs, commonly used surfaces such as keyboards, desks, light switches and countertops. Eat well, get plenty of sleep and exercise in non-crowded places, take a walk outside.

Practice social distancing

Limit face-to-face contacts to maintain a distance of 6 feet. Stay home if you are sick. Keep in touch with your teachers and professors if you do not feel well. If you will be in the library, computer lab, Ryan dining hall or the Griffin Grill, or other gathering areas try to keep a distance of three to 6 feet between you and another person. Avoid gatherings of 50 or more people.

Anxiety and other Mental Health issues

Feeling stressed? Counseling and Wellness is open between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm.

World Health Organization Flyer regarding Coping with Stress During Cov19 outbreak

Taking Care of Your Emotional Health

TAO; Therapy Assistance Online

To make an appointment to see Therese Jacques, Fontbonne’s licensed clinical counselor, call her office phone at 314-889-1434 or email tjacques@fontbonne.edu.

You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms: fever, cough and shortness of break. Seek medical advice if you develop symptoms and/or you have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or live or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or urgent care office. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

Stay well!

Carla Hagan, RN
Campus Nurse
Fontbonne University

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As we continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 and guidance from the CDC and St. Louis County, Fontbonne has implemented health and safety precautions for a return to campus.Learn more on our Griffin Return page.