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.

 What do I do if I come in contact with someone positive for COVID-19?

Please follow these current CDC quarantine guidelines.

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.

 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

 

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 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 dorm room as much as possible. Wear a mask when going to the bathroom. Notify Hall/Resident Director who can arrange for meals. 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/

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

If you are currently positive please self-report by filling out the self-report form in your MyJMUChart

 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 tests 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.

Fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

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 or you had a documented case of COVID-19 in the past 90 days.

Please follow these current CDC quarantine quidelines.

 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.
  • If you live on campus, you will also be contacted by Resident Life (ORL) with additional information.

 Where will I stay if I need to quarantine?

On-campus students who need to quarantine will be asked to leave campus and return to their permanent residence.  

Students who would need to use public transportation to return home will be housed in an on-campus quarantine location.

 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?

Everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate even if they are vaccinated. 

 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.
  • Students who live on campus will be asked to return to their permanent residence.

 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.

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?

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

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