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COVID-19 Symptoms

 What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include one or more of the following:

  • Fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Trouble breathing or feeling short of breath
  • Significant body aches
  • Unusual headache
  • New loss of ability to taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose

Note: Nausea, diarrhea and vomiting are included in the Center for Disease Control (CDC) list of COVID-19 symptoms

 Should I monitor for symptoms?

Yes, all employees must monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. Vaccinated and non-vaccinated employees are at risk of infection of the virus.

 What if my symptoms subside in 24-48 hours?

Nausea/vomiting, and/or diarrhea without other COVID symptoms listed above are not typical for COVID and are usually due to an intestinal virus. Individuals with one or more of these symptoms and no other COVID symptoms typically get better within 24-48 hours.Since these viruses are contagious, you should stay home if you have nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea. You may return to work when feeling better.

If you have other COVID symptoms along with nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea, you should see your medical provider for consideration of a COVID test.

 What do I do if I experience symptoms?

If you experience COVID-19 symptoms:

  • You should stay at home and away from others
  • Do not come to campus
  • Call your primary care provider for further instructions
  • Inform your supervisor
  • Consult with an HR Benefits Specialist to see what leave options are available
  • Do not report symptoms due to an existing known health condition such as seasonal allergies or chronic lung disease

If you are having significant difficulty breathing or feel short of breath, please go to the Emergency Department of your closest hospital.

 Is there someone on campus I may discuss my symptoms with or seek advice from?

If you would like to discuss your symptoms with the JMU Occupational Nurse, call (540) 568-5310.


 What does "exposed" mean?

According to the CDC, an individual has been exposed to COVID-19 when they have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) with either:

  • A person with COVID-19 who has symptoms (in the period from two days before symptom onset until they meet criteria for discontinuing home isolation; can be laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness).
  • A person who has tested positive for COVID-19 (laboratory confirmed) but has not had any symptoms (in the two days before the date of specimen collection until they meet criteria for discontinuing home isolation).

This applies whether the person with COVID-19 or the contact was wearing a mask or whether the contact was wearing respiratory personal protective equipment (PPE).

 What if I am exposed or experience symptoms after being vaccinated?

If you are exposed to COVID-19 symptoms and have been fully vaccinated (two weeks after the second shot of a two-shot sequence or the first shot of a single dose vaccine), you may continue to report to work. You must remain masked. 

Arrange testing as soon as reasonable if you develop symptoms before testing on day 3-5 post exposure. If you are symptomatic, you should isolate until testing occurs.

If you do not develop systems, arrange testing 3-5 days after the exposure. Testing for faculty and staff is available at the UHC. Contact contact the JMU Occupational Health Nurse at (540) 568-5310. A rapid Antigen test is fine, and may be purchased as a two-pack at CVS.

If you are exposed and have only received one dose of a two-dose vaccine, contact the JMU Occupational Health Nurse at (540) 568-5310 for further instructions.

If you experience COVID-19 symptoms after getting the vaccine, you will need to use your personal leave to cover your absences.

 What if I am exposed or experience symptoms but have not been vaccinated?

If you have not had COVID in the past three months and exposure fits the CDC criteria for a close contact, contact the Occupational Health Nurse at (540) 568-5310 to discuss quarantine options and the duration of your quarantine. Arrange testing for 3-5 days after the exposure.

If you have not had COVID in the past three months and exposure does NOT fit the CDC criteria for a close contact, monitor for COVID symptoms for 14 days. Arrange testing if symptoms develop. Consider testing 3-5 days after exposure even if you are asymptomatic/do not develop symptoms.

If your COVID test is positive:

  • Inform the Occupational Health Nurse
  • Isolate for 10 days from the day of the positive test or the day symptoms began.

If you have had COVID in the past three months, you do not need to do anything different unless you develop new COVID symptoms. COVID symptoms should prompt an evaluation by a medical professional. If testing is recommended, the Rapid antigen test is the most appropriate to avoid the problem with persistent false positive testing from PCR.

 What if I have been tested for COVID-19 but do not have test results yet?

You must stay in quarantine until test results are received unless you received other guidance from a health care provider.

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