Basic Questions

 What is an overview of COVID-19 facts?

The cause of COVID-19 is from the coronavirus family, some of which cause the common cold. Although this virus can cause severe illness, 80% of cases are ‘mild’. Those with ‘mild’ illness will recover without the need for hospitalization. Young patients are much more likely to have mild disease while those over 65 and those with certain medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness.

 Can I get a COVID-19 test on campus?

The UHC is now providing asymptomatic testing though priority will be given to students, faculty and staff who have symptoms or have had direct, close contact with someone who tested positive (you should wait 5 - 7 days after contact to be tested.) The cost is $55 and can be billed to insurance. Call 540-568-6178 to make an appointment to be tested.

Reasons for asymptomatic testing include travel, visiting with at-risk family members and internship or job requirements. It is important to note that COVID-19 testing provides test results for one period in time and does not capture illness immediately after exposure. If you are not showing any symptoms but are concerned that you were exposed, you need to quarantine before and after testing to ensure the test is accurate and that you were not exposed after the initial contact.

 Do you do rapid testing?

The UHC laboratory has the ability to perform in-house rapid antigen and rapid PCR tests for COVID-19. However, these tests have specific clinical indications. Due to limited availability of the rapid PCR test and the need to save these tests for acute diagnostic testing, they will not be used for "screening". Some states are requiring proof of a negative test when traveling to that state and a rapid antigen test may be acceptable. If you are seeking a screening test for COVID-19 related to travel, please determine which test you need (the state’s COVID-19 website is a good place to start.) The UHC can perform the rapid antigen test for these purposes. If your travel requires a PCR test, please call to speak with a nurse to determine how that may be best accomplished. We have been getting consistent 48 hour turnaround time on our PCR tests sent to LabCorp but this is not guaranteed.

 Can I test out of quarantine? Does a negative COVID test mean I do not need to continue my quarantine?

The answer here is MAYBE. The CDC and the VDH recommend that a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 should quarantine for 14 days from the point of last contact if possible. However, recently the CDC has acknowledged that other options may be safe. These options only apply to those without any symptoms. The option to leave quarantine after 7 days requires a negative COVID-19 test on or after day 5. The option to leave quarantine after 10 days does not require any testing. The JMU Health center is also applying risk level to the type of contact to determine if 7, 10 or even 14 days of quarantine is best. On-campus residents who have no symptoms can leave quarantine no sooner than day 10 if they have a negative COVID-19 test on or after day 8. Anyone who has questions about when their quarantine should end can call the UHC and ask to speak with a nurse.

 What has the Health Center done to prepare for COVID-19 cases?

The Health Center is following guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), The Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and The American College Health Association (ACHA) to guide medical evaluation and care for our students. Our goal is to maximize safety of students and staff while providing the best care possible. To accomplish this, the following changes are being implemented:

  • Telehealth visits with a member of our medical team are available for most medical concerns. Our objective is to provide medical care remotely as much as possible to limit the need for a physical visit to the UHC.
  • In clinical areas all students and staff are required to wear a face covering. Students without personal masks will be provided a mask to use while in the clinic. Persons with a valid medical accommodation to not wear a facemask may wear a face shield. A face shield will be provided for use during the visit if necessary.
  • Hand sanitizer is available at each clinic entrance and we have increased cleaning of clinical areas.
  • We have designed a Respiratory Clinic to evaluate students with respiratory symptoms who require a medical visit. This clinic has a defined waiting area and exam rooms designed and equipped to evaluate patients with these types of infections. Medical staff in this area wear full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when indicated.
  • Students with medical concerns other than respiratory illness who require a face-to-face visit will be evaluated in a clinical area separate from the Respiratory Clinic.
  • Videos are being added to our self-care guides.

We will continue to monitor the situation and make changes to our clinical services as appropriate.

 Can you provide testing for students?

Yes, viral testing for COVID-19 is available through the UHC. We have rapid antigen testing, rapid PCR testing, and reference lab (LabCorp) PCR testing. The best test option depends on several factors and will be determined at the time of the visit.

Antibody testing can also be arranged by the UHC through LabCorp. The presence of antibodies indicates that the person has been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, likely within the previous 6 months. Antibody testing can only provide limited benefit when making clinical decisions about COVID-19.

 Will you provide quarantine and isolation for students?

Students who live off campus will be considered a “family group” and will be asked to quarantine/isolate in their off campus housing.

 How can I protect myself from the virus?

  • Avoid exposure.
    • Wear a face covering whenever interacting with others.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Physically distance yourself whenever possible.
  • Clean your hands often.
    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an FDA approved hand sanitizer. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

 Should I wear a mask?

Yes. Facemask use in public places is recommended by the CDC and has been clearly shown to significantly limit viral spread. Masks are required at JMU in all public spaces. The purpose of wearing masks is to prevent spread of your droplets to others when you talk or if you cough or sneeze. Do not depend on the mask to fully protect yourself or others. If you are sick or have a fever you should stay inside, away from other people. Maximizing physical distancing whenever possible is also recommended.

For more information regarding masks, see the COVID-19 Mask and Accessibility Guidance. This also provides alternatives for anyone who has obtained a valid accommodation from a medical or mental health provider to not wear a facemask.

 What to do if you are having COVID-19 symptoms?

Students

If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 stay at home and away from others. Log in to MyJMUChart and schedule an online telehealth appointment with a medical provider or call 540-568-6178 for a testing appointment.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you have other symptoms, are unsure about your symptoms or are unable to schedule a telehealth appointment please log into MyJMUChart and schedule a phone visit with a nurse.

Instructions for using MyJMUChart can be found here.

If you are unable to get an appointment or have other questions please call the Health Center at 540-568-6178.

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

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 over the weekend:

Students who live off-campus should stay at home away from others and make an appointment with the Health center for Monday. Go to Sentara RMH Emergency Department with trouble breathing or other severe symptoms.

Student who live on-campus should stay in your dorm room as much as possible. Wear a mask when going to the bathroom. Notify Hall/Resident Director who can arrange for meals. Notify UHC by completing a Self-report form on your patient portal. Clinical staff from the Health Center will check self-report forms between the hours of 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sunday and each morning during the week day. Please be prepared to answer a phone call during these times. You should also prepare an overnight bag for use in quarantine/isolation as needed. Go to Sentara RMH Emergency Department if you have trouble breathing or other severe symptoms. 

Faculty/Staff

If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 stay at home and away from others, do not come on campus and call your primary care provider for further instructions. If you are having significant difficulty breathing or feel short of breath please go to the Emergency Department of your closest hospital.

If you have been directed to get tested for COVID-19 and are having difficulty getting tested please call the Occupational Health Nurse at (540) 568-5310. If you call over the weekend your call will be returned on Monday.

The Occupational Health Nurse role is to provide information for employees who have tested positive or are in quarantine due to a close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID 19. We do not provide medical evaluations for those who feel sick and do not provide any illness related excuses for work.

Affiliates/Other Community Members

If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 strongly consider staying home, stay away from others, do not come on campus, and call your primary care provider for further instructions.

More information can be found at https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus/what-to-do-if-you-have-confirmed-or-suspected-coronavirus-disease-covid-19/

 

This information is subject to change. We will update this website as the situation evolves.

 What if I start having symptoms when the university is closed for inclement weather

For students who live off campus, you should stay at home away from others. Wear a mask when walking to the bathroom or when in common areas of your home. Check the health center website for reopening information and schedule an appointment when available. Go to Sentara RMH Emergency Department if you have trouble breathing or other severe symptoms.

For students who live on campus, you should stay in your room as much as possible. Wear a mask when going to the bathroom. Notify your RA or Hall Director who can arrange for meals. Notify UHC by completing a self-report form on your patient portal. Clinical staff from the Health Center will check self-report forms daily. If you complete a self-report form you may be contacted by phone, so please be prepared to answer your phone. You should also prepare an overnight bag for use in quarantine/isolation as needed. Go to Sentara RMH Emergency Department if you have trouble breathing or other severe symptoms.

For faculty and staff, if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 stay at home and away from others. Do not come on campus and call your primary care provider for further instructions. If you are having significant difficulty breathing or feel short of breath please go to the Emergency Department of your closest hospital. If you have been directed to get tested for COVID-19 and are having difficulty getting tested please call the Occupational Health Nurse at (540) 568-5310 and leave a message. The Occupational Health Nurse will call you back and schedule a testing appointment when the Health Center reopens.

 How do I report if I've tested positive somewhere other than the Health Center?

If you are currently positive please self-report by calling the UHC at 540-568-6178. If you tested positive more than 10 days ago and no longer have symptoms, please go to MyJMUChart and upload a copy of your positive test result. This will become part of your Medical Record. You can upload copies of test results for viral tests and also antibody tests. Please note that the LiveSafe app is not an official notification and does not get included in your medical record.

 How long will I test positive for COVID-19?

At this time, we have limited information about reinfections with the virus that causes COVID-19. Data to date show that a person who has had and recovered from COVID-19 may have low levels of virus in their bodies for up to 3 months after diagnosis. This means that if the person who has recovered is retested within 3 months of initial infection, they may continue to have a positive test result, even though they are not spreading the virus.

There are no confirmed reports to date of a person being reinfected with COVID-19 within 3 months of initial infection. However, additional research is ongoing. Therefore, if a person who has recovered has new symptoms, the person may need an evaluation for reinfection, especially if the person has had close contact with someone infected with COVID-19. The person should isolate and contact a healthcare provider to be evaluated for other causes of their symptoms, and possibly retested.

CDC recommends that all people, whether or not they have had COVID-19, take steps to prevent getting and spreading it. Wash hands regularly, stay at least 6 feet away from others whenever possible and wear masks.

 What are some tips for students who live in a house or apartment with several other people?

The first thing is for everyone to try to avoid being exposed to COVID-19. You’ve heard it before: wear a mask, keep your distance from people, and wash your hands frequently.

Limit errands – so many things can be ordered online for home delivery or you can use curbside pickup. The same goes for eating out – have it delivered or better yet, look up some fun recipes and make it yourself!

 What should we do if someone in our house or apartment test positive for COVID-19?

The person who tested positive needs to Isolate for 10 days. That means they should have no direct contact with anyone else, even if you’ve already been around them.

If possible, they should have a separate bedroom and bathroom that only they use. If that’s not possible, they need to wear a mask and everything should be cleaned and disinfected after they use it. Open the window and turn on a fan to bring in and circulate fresh air if possible. Wait as long as possible before entering the room to clean and disinfect or to use the bathroom.

Bring them food and drinks and leave them outside the door of the bedroom. If that isn’t possible, everyone should stay at least 6 feet away while they are preparing their food.

Anyone who had close, direct contact with that person needs to Quarantine for 14 days from your last exposure. If you continue to have exposure, you need to quarantine for 14 days from the time the person no longer needs to isolate. While in quarantine, you can’t be around other people either because you don’t know who may be positive for COVID-19 and who is not. And you need to wait 5 – 7 days to get tested because it may not show up right away. Even then, you still need to quarantine for the 14 days.

 Should I be tested

You should be tested if at any point you develop COVID symptoms. Also, you can consider getting tested on or after the fifth day following exposure since a negative test will allow you to leave quarantine after 7 days. Options for testing include a rapid antigen test, processed in the UHC lab at a cost of $40. If this is chosen, it should be done on day 7. If the PCR test is chosen, be aware that the turnaround time may be as long as 3-4 days. You may also opt not to be tested since you may leave quarantine after day 10 without testing as long as you have no symptoms.
Quarantine

 When do I need to be quarantined?

If you had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, or you are having symptoms and are waiting for test results you must quarantine, unless you have been fully vaccinated and the exposure occurred within 90 days from the second dose of vaccine.

 What does quarantine mean?

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent the spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.  Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed. Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine has a very low risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.

 How does quarantining work?

  • When you self-report that you have been in contact with someone who tested positive, the University Health Center (UHC) will send you a message through MyJMUChart that includes how long you need to quarantine and other resources.
  • You will also be contacted by Resident Life (ORL) with additional information.
  • A Liaison will reach out to you via email to check in and offer resources.
  • You must stay in your assigned room, separate yourself from others and monitor your health for the length of your quarantine from the last contact with the person who tested positive.

 Where will I stay if I need to quarantine?

Depending on the circumstances, you will either quarantine in your on-campus residence, in a different room on campus, or in a local hotel paid for by JMU. This will be explained by ORL when they contact you.

 How do I receive meals?

If students are quarantined in a hotel, meals will be delivered.

For special situations where a student cannot pick up their meals, delivered meals will be available or a sick meal pickup may be used.

All meals will be charged against the student’s JACard. If the student does not have enough meals for the week, they will still be fed.

 What happens while I am quarantined?

  • Take time to settle in, text loved ones that you got there, or whatever helps you relax.
  • You must not come in contact with other people, even those who are quarantining.
  • You must stay in your room the vast majority of time. A few exceptions:
    • To pick up food
    • To seek medical treatment
    • To take out your trash
    • For a quick breath of fresh air
    • Always maintain a 6- to 10-foot distance from others
    • Always wear a mask/face covering that completely and snugly covers your nose and mouth.
    • Before and after leaving your room, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.

Reminder

  • Check your message in MyJMUChart to confirm what date your quarantine ends.
  • You will be contacted by ORL to return to your original residence hall room on that day.
  • Let them know if you need help moving your items.

 What should I pack for on-campus Quarantine Housing?

Essentials

  • JACard, Passport and any other IDs
  • Insurance Card
  • Clothing for up to 14 days (laundry will be available)
  • Comfy clothes and pajamas
  • Underwear and socks
  • Jackets/Sweatshirts
  • Hair ties/Scarves
  • Slippers, flip flops, etc.
  • Linens
  • Twin xl sheets
  • Blanket
  • Pillow with pillowcase
  • Bath towels and washcloths
  • Detergent/Dryer Sheets/Laundry basket

Hygiene Items

  • Soap, Shampoo, Conditioner
  • Face wash/wipes
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Glasses/Contacts/Contact Solution
  • Tissues
  • Feminine products

School Items/electronics

  • Textbooks and handouts
  • Writing utensils such as notepads, pencils, pens, etc.
  • Art supplies, music Instruments and other specialized equipment needed for school work
  • Laptop with charger
  • Phone with charger
  • IPad or other electronics and chargers

Medications & Supplements

  • Thermometer
  • Tylenol or Advil and other over-the-counter medicines
  • 14 days’ worth of prescription medications (including things like Epi pen, Insulin, Inhaler)

Self-care items to support overall well-being

  • Water Bottle, snacks and drinks
  • Art supplies/crafts
  • Puzzles
  • Playing cards
  • Portable exercise equipment (like fitness bands, hand weights, or yoga mat)
  • Books/Reading Materials

 What should I pack for off campus (hotel) Quarantine Housing?

Essentials

  • JACard, Passport and any other IDs
  • Insurance Card
  • Clothing for up to 14 days (laundry will not be available)
  • Comfy clothes and pajamas
  • Underwear and socks
  • Jackets/Sweatshirts
  • Hair ties/Scarves
  • Slippers, flip flops, etc. 

Hygiene Items

  • Soap, Shampoo, Conditioner
  • Face wash/wipes
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Glasses/Contacts/Contact Solution
  • Tissues
  • Feminine products

School Items/electronics

  • Textbooks and handouts
  • Writing utensils such as notepads, pencils, pens, etc.
  • Art supplies, music Instruments and other specialized equipment needed for school work
  • Laptop with charger
  • Phone with charger
  • IPad or other electronics and chargers

Medications & Supplements

  • Thermometer
  • Tylenol or Advil and other over-the-counter medicines
  • 14 days’ worth of prescription medications (including things like Epi pen, Insulin, Inhaler)

Self-care items to support overall well-being

  • Water Bottle, snacks and drinks
  • Art supplies/crafts
  • Puzzles
  • Playing cards
  • Portable exercise equipment (like fitness bands, hand weights, or yoga mat)
  • Books/Reading Materials

 If I am quarantined what should I do?

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever (fever is a temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit). Also, watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for the length of your quarantine. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
  • Do not go out to places where others congregate. It is safe to go outdoors as long as you can avoid other people.
  • Please only leave for essential trips. If you must go out to get food, supplies or go to a medical appointment.
  • Always keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

 How can I protect others if I have COVID-19?

  • Stay home, except to seek necessary medical care.
  • Wear a facemask whenever you are around others (regardless of the distance).
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.
    • Throw used tissues in the trash.
    • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
  • Clean and disinfect.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.
    • If surfaces are dirty, first clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Isolation

 What does isolation mean?

Isolation means separating a sick person with a communicable disease from people who are well for the duration of the person’s illness. For COVID-19, this typically occurs at home, however when isolated on campus, you’ll be moved to a temporary room to isolate for 10 days from the time your symptoms began and your fever has been gone for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication (and your symptoms are improving).

 When do I need to be isolated?

If you tested positive for COVID-19 you must isolate.

 How does Isolation work?

  • When the University Health Center (UHC) receives word that you have tested positive, they will send you a message through MyJMUChart. This will include the date that your isolation will end.
  • They will also contact Resident Life (ORL), who will let you know where you will stay during isolation.
  • You will then be contacted by someone from Facilities Management (FM) or Campus Police (PD) to transport you to that room.
  • A Liaison will reach out to you via email to check in and offer resources.

 Where will I stay if I need to isolate?

You will have a temporary room in either Willow, Oak or Valley Hall. You’ll have a room to yourself as long as we have enough available but may have to share with one other person. JMU Wi-Fi is available in each room.

 How do I receive meals?

Your meals will be delivered from Campus Dining. They will deliver meals inside the front door of the residence hall and you will receive a text them when they have been delivered.

  • Lunch delivery 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Dinner delivery 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
  • A breakfast pack for the next day will arrive with dinner.

 What should I pack for Isolation Housing?

Essentials

  • JACard, Passport and any other IDs
  • Insurance Card
  • Clothing for up to 10 days (laundry will be available)
  • Comfy clothes and pajamas
  • Underwear and socks
  • Jackets/Sweatshirts
  • Hair ties/Scarves
  • Slippers, flip flops, etc.
  • Linens
  • Twin xl sheets
  • Blanket
  • Pillow with pillowcase
  • Bath towels and washcloths
  • Detergent/Dryer Sheets/Laundry basket

Hygiene Items

  • Soap, Shampoo, Conditioner
  • Face wash/wipes
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Glasses/Contacts/Contact Solution
  • Tissues
  • Feminine products

School Items/electronics

  • Textbooks and handouts
  • Writing utensils such as notepads, pencils, pens, etc.
  • Art supplies, music Instruments and other specialized equipment needed for school work
  • Laptop with charger
  • Phone with charger
  • IPad or other electronics and chargers

Medications & Supplements

  • Thermometer
  • Tylenol or Advil and other over-the-counter medicines
  • 14 days’ worth of prescription medications (including things like Epi pen, Insulin, Inhaler)

Self-care items to support overall well-being

  • Water Bottle, snacks and drinks
  • Art supplies/crafts
  • Puzzles
  • Playing cards
  • Portable exercise equipment (like fitness bands, hand weights, or yoga mat)
  • Books/Reading Materials

Then what?

  • Take time to lie down, text loved ones that you got there, or whatever makes you feel better!
  • Contact your professors if you haven’t already.
  • You are allowed to interact with others in your isolation hall who have tested positive. No mask is needed.
  • You must stay in your hall the vast majority of time. A few exceptions:
    • To seek medical treatment
    • To take out your trash
    • For a quick breath of fresh air

During those exceptions:

  • Always maintain a 6- to 10-foot distance from others
  • Always wear a mask/face covering that completely and snugly covers your nose and mouth.
  • Before and after leaving your room, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.

Reminder

  • Check your message in MyJMUChart to confirm what date your isolation ends.
  • You will be contacted by ORL to return to your original residence hall room on that day.
  • Let them know if you need help moving your items.
COVID-19 and Return from International Travel

 What are the quarantine guidelines for any individual (either a U.S. citizen or an international traveler) who is returning from international travel?

There is ongoing transmission of novel coronavirus within the United States and in destinations throughout the world.

You may have been exposed to COVID-19 on your travels (domestic and/or international). You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can be contagious without symptoms and spread the virus to others. You and your travel companions (including children) pose a risk to your family, friends and community for 14 days after you were exposed to the virus. Regardless of where you traveled or what you did during your trip, take these actions to protect others from getting sick:

  • When around others, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms' length) from other people who are not from your household. It is important to do this everywhere, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when you are outside of your home.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
  • Watch your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19, and take your temperature if you feel sick.

Follow state, territorial, tribal and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

Visit this link for further details.

 This information is subject to change. We will update this website as the situation evolves.

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