Stearns County

To: CSB/SJU Students, Faculty & Staff

From: Stearns County Environmental & Public Health Departments

Re: New information regarding Norovirus

This communication should serve to update and clarify the information regarding the current norovirus outbreak on the CSB/SJU campuses. There are some useful links and good tips for spring break. ol start="1" type="1">

  • The norovirus outbreak on the CSB/SJU campuses continues as students, staff & faculty are still reporting and seeking treatment for the illness. As of 3/1/05 out of 694 usable responses from the web survey sent previously, 139 people stated they were ill with symptoms consistent with the norovirus. Symptoms of illness include vomiting and diarrhea.  In addition, there have been many reports of illness since, through email, phone calls and in-person visits to the campus health center. Norovirus is spread through person-to-person contact, touching contaminated surfaces, and through contaminated food and water.  The mode of transmission at the campuses has not been determined to be limited to person-to-person contact.

    1. The CSB/SJU staff are working hard to minimize the spread of the virus. The food service has provided hand sanitizers in self-service areas. The utensils in self-service areas are being changed at least every 30 minutes. There is increased cleaning and sanitation in all common areas. Students have access to additional cleaning chemicals through their RA’s RD’s FR’s. The handwashing campaign is evidenced by the posters throughout the campuses.
    1. There is concern that the norovirus may be spread to your home communities or other areas as spring break approaches.  The following precautions can greatly reduce this risk:

    Wash hands diligently. Use hand sanitizers when handwashing is not available. Although hand sanitizers may say “antibacterial”, most will have an alcohol content that is effective in reducing norovirus.

    Do not work if ill. Wait 72 hours after symptoms subside before returning to work. This is especially important for food service workers!

    Any area where there has been vomiting or diarrhea should be cleaned and sanitized. Sanitize with a 10% solution of bleach when possible.

    Please use the following links for more information:

    Effectiveness of hand sanitizers & hand hygiene

    General info about norovirus

    The contact person for the CSB/SJU campus is Ganard Orionzi, Director of Environmental Health & Safety 363-5277 or 363-3267 or [email protected]

    The contact person for Stearns County Environmental Health is Lisa Schleisman 656-3613 or [email protected]

    The contact person for Stearns County Public Health is Mary Pittman-Mach 656-6155 or [email protected]