Alerts

Police Action Near WSU Vancouver 2-5-20

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On 2/5/2020 Clark County Sheriffs were dispatched to a possible burglary in progress. A passerby saw homeless people in the back yard of a residence near the northwest border of campus property at about 2:20 PM. A male was seen exiting the front of the house with a bag of items.

This home is located off of 29th Avenue and is not believed to physically connect to WSUV.

Clark County Sheriffs notified WSU Police due to the search in progress for an older white male that fled the scene. WSU Vancouver Police assisted Clark County Sheriffs with area security and the search. The area of concentration was on the very North/West side of campus, not near campus buildings.

The search was called off at about 3:40 PM. No suspect was found and there was never any indication the person was on WSU Vancouver property.

WSU Monitoring 2019 Novel Coronavirus

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Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Cougar Health Services and other University offices are working with public health officials to monitor the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.

What is this novel coronavirus (2019‑nCoV)?

2019‑nCoV is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Since then, the virus has been identified in multiple other countries, including cases in the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people. This new virus is a public health concern because:

  • It is newly identified, so much is still unknown about it.
  • Two other human coronaviruses, MERS‑CoV and SARS‑CoV, have caused severe illness.

What is the risk?

The CDC considers this new virus a serious public health threat. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak aninternational public health emergency.

That said, the CDC considers the immediate health risk from 2019‑nCoV to the general American public to be low at this time. There are no confirmed cases among WSU community members.

As of January 31, 2020, there are only six confirmed cases in the United States, one of which is in Snohomish County and is unrelated to WSU.

Information about the symptoms, transmission and treatment for 2019‑nCoV is available on the CDC webpage.

Can you travel to or from China?

The CDC has issued a level 3 warning for travel to China and recommends avoiding all non‑essential travel to China. The U.S. Department of State updated its China Travel Advisory on January 30, 2020, to “Do Not Travel” to China.

Accordingly, we ask that members of the WSU community not travel to China, until such time as the CDC and Department of State downgrade their travel advisories.

If you must travel to China:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease and should discuss travel to Wuhan with their health care provider.

In addition, if you must travel to China, register your travel through WSU’s international travel insurance. By registering your travel, emergency assistance is more readily available and you will have access to specific risk information about your destination(s).

What are the best prevention measures?

There is no vaccine to prevent this virus. The CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Where is WSU posting information about the 2019‑nCoV outbreak?

Updates and additional information are available on the Cougar Health Services website.

If you have questions about travel to or from China, please contact Global Services in International Programs:ip.globalservices@wsu.edu; 509‑335‑4508.

If you have personal medical questions, please contact your medical provider.

Sincerely,

Bonnie de Vries, MD MS
Medical Director, Cougar Health Services

Phishing scam, Be Aware

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WSU PD has received numerous reports involving a phone phishing scam. What happens is the victim will receive a call with a female voice recording saying that the subject’s phone has been hacked and they (the suspects) have been watching the victim on campus and have a lot of nude videos of the person receiving the call. It then directs them to go to a website or the videos are going to be distributed all over the internet. The internet address they are directed to is hard to understand but is something like (www)cit.y/ws.wsu. The phone number the suspects used is 509-332-3561.  This is a scam. There is no need to call the number or go to the website.

Phishing emails disguised as WSUV Department Heads

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During the week of 10/21/19, a number of WSU Vancouver staff members have received emails addressed from their supervisor or department head. The emails ask the employee to purchase gift cards for the supervisor because the supervisor is in a meeting or having an emergency that requires the staff member's help.

Please know that WSU Vancouver Department heads would never contact you asking you to provide support in the form of money, gift cards, or loans. These emails have been reported to abuse@wsu.edu for internet security and WSU Vancouver IT security is aware of the issue and is investigating.

If you receive such an email, please forward the email to abuse@wsu.edu and to harrsch@wsu.edu at WSU Vancouver IT.

PREPARE NOW FOR WILDFIRE SMOKE, UNHEALTHY AIR QUALITY

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Vancouver, Wash. – With the warming weather and dry conditions, wildfire season is likely on its way and has already begun elsewhere in the state. Clark County Public Health is urging residents to take steps now to prepare for smoky days with unhealthy air quality.

Breathing smoke from wildfires isn’t healthy for anyone, but some people are more likely to have health problems when the air quality isn’t good. Those at risk for problems include children, adults older than 65, people with heart and lung diseases, people with respiratory infections and colds, anyone who has had a stroke, pregnant women and individuals who smoke.

The best way to protect your health when the air is smoky is to limit time outdoors and reduce physical activity. This is especially important for people at risk for health problems when air quality isn’t good.

Here are some steps to take now, before air quality worsens from wildfire smoke:

  • Know where to find information about local air quality. The Washington State Department of Ecology’s Air Quality Monitoring website has a map of air quality statewide. The map uses color-coded categories to report when air quality is good, moderate or unhealthy. The Southwest Clean Air Agency has current air quality information for Clark, Cowlitz and Lewis counties and may issue advisories when poor air quality is forecast.
  • If you or a family member has heart or lung disease, talk to your doctor about precautions to take when air quality is unhealthy. Make sure you have the necessary medications, and ask your doctor how to manage symptoms and when to seek medical care.
  • Develop a relocation plan in case you need to leave the area when air quality is hazardous.
  • Consider purchasing a portable air cleaner with a HEPA filter. Make sure your vehicle has a HEPA-equivalent air filter.
  • Know how to turn the air conditioner in your home and vehicle to recirculate to avoid bringing smoky outdoor air inside.
  • Create a plan for alternatives to outdoor family activities. If the air quality is unhealthy, you may need to exercise indoors, find alternatives to outdoor summer camps or change vacation arrangements.
  • Consider purchasing a respirator mask labeled N95 or N100 and learn how to properly wear it. People who must be outside for extended periods of time in smoky air may benefit from wearing one of these masks, if worn correctly. If the mask does not fit properly, it will provide little or no protection and may offer a false sense of security. These masks are not recommended for children or people with beards. People with lung disease, heart disease or who are chronically ill should consult a health care provider before using a mask.

When air is smoky, here are some additional steps to take to protect yourself and your family:

  • Limit time outdoors and avoid vigorous physical activity.
  • Keep windows and doors closed.
  • Turn the air conditioner in your home and vehicle to recirculate to avoid bringing smoky outdoor air inside.
  • Don’t pollute your indoor air. Avoid burning candles, using aerosol products, frying food and smoking.
  • Do not vacuum unless using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Vacuuming stirs up dust and smoke particles.
  • Use an air cleaner with a HEPA filter.

Additional information: