Basic Questions

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.

  • 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.

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

Students

If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 stay at home and away from others. See the tabs below for specific information depending upon vaccination status.

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 for testing at a COVID-19 testing site or call the UHC at 540-568-6178 during normal business hours to request a testing appointment.

Go to Sentara RMH Emergency Department with trouble breathing or other severe symptoms.

Student who live on-campus should stay in your residence hall room as much as possible. Wear a mask when going to the bathroom. Notify Hall/Resident Director who can provide you with a testing kit. Or you can make an appointment for testing at a COVID-19 testing site or call the UHC at 540-568-6178 during normal business hours to request a testing appointment.

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/

If your COVID test is positive:

  1. You may not go to class/campus.
  2. Self-report to the University Health Center. This will become part of your medical record but does not service as documentation for missed classes.
  3. Initiate Isolation.
  4. Contact your professors to determine how you can complete your coursework.

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.

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.

The person who tested positive needs to Isolate. 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.

See the Isolation and Quarantine FAQs for specific information depending upon vaccination status.

COVID-19 and Return from International Travel

Information related to travel and COVID-19 can be found on the CDC website.

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