Basic Questions

 What is COVID-19?

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

If you’ve been vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine or get tested unless you have symptoms. If you have not been vaccinated, 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, 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.

 How can I protect myself from the virus?

  • Get vaccinated. VaccineFinder is a helpful resource if you need help finding the vaccine.
  • 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?

If you are fully vaccinated you do not need to wear a mask except on public transit, in health care facilities and in congregate settings. You may still choose to wear a mask if you prefer to do so. If you are not fully vaccinated, you are strongly encouraged to wear a mask in all indoor and outdoor settings and adhere to all reasonable mitigation strategies.

 What should I do if I am having COVID-19 symptoms?

Students

If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 stay at home and away from others. Call 540-568-6178 to speak to a nurse and to schedule 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

 

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. Call UHC at 540-568-6178 during normal business hours to report your symptoms. 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.

 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. 

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 be vaccinated. VaccineFinder is a helpful resource if you need help finding the vaccine. You should still watch for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay away from others. People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken the immune system, should talk to their healthcare provider to discuss their activities. They may need to keep taking all precautions to prevent COVID-19.

 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.

If you’ve been vaccinated you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms. If you have not been vaccinated, you should follow the quarantine instructions.

 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?

During summer session, you will quarantine in your on-campus residence.

 How do I receive meals?

Your meals will be delivered or a sick meal pickup may be used.

All meals will be charged against your JACard. If you do not have enough meals for the week, you will still be fed.

 What happens while I am quarantined?

  • 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 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.
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, you’ll 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).
  • A Liaison will reach out to you via email to check in and offer resources.

 Where will I stay if I need to isolate?

During summer session you will isolate in your residence hall 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.
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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