As COVID-19 cases increase along with the start of a new semester with increased face-to-face instruction, we spoke with a medical educator to discuss tips for staying safe this semester.
Amber Schmidtke, Ph.D., has been tracking the spread of COVID-19 across Georgia and our nation since it began.
“Understand that, while you’re young and you’re healthy, you’re not invincible. Really try to figure out a way to put your Georgia Southern community and their needs ahead of your own potentially during this time,” said Schmidtke. “It’s not forever, but this is a time to really look out for your community.”
Even when you are having small and COVID-conscious gatherings, Schmidtke says to act like you’re infected.
“If a person has a high risk exposure, let’s say they go to a party or another event where a lot of people are gathered indoors, you should assume you are infected,” said Schmidtke.
This includes self quarantining and seeking out testing four to seven days after any gatherings (anything before that window might not show up even if you are displaying symptoms) and to keep in mind that it is also possible to be contagious even if you are asymptomatic.
“The reason why is because we know that about 40% of the people who are infected will never show symptoms and so they might not have that sort of natural reminder that they are in fact a risk to others,” said Schmidtke.
Schmidtke encourages the continued use of face masks and social distancing guidelines which have been implemented on campus.
“If you’re having symptoms it’s important to take those seriously and not brush them off,” Schmidtke said.
To read Schmidtke’s weekly COVID-19 updates click here.