COVID-19 FAQs

WCU Student Health Services is closely monitoring the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Our top priority is the health, safety, and wellbeing of our community both on and off campus. 

On this web page, you’ll find:

  • Information about prevention and testing offered through WCU Student Health Services
  • Answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 
  • How to contact Student Health Services (SHS)

General Questions

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 infection include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, headache, body aches, loss of smell/ taste, nausea/ vomiting, diarrhea, and skin changes.

Who can get COVID-19?

Anyone can become infected with COVID-19. If you have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or have recently traveled to an area of widespread community transmission, you may be at an increased risk.

How can I protect myself and others from getting COVID-19?

  • If your region is under a stay-at-home order, please do so accordingly
  • Wear a facial covering while outside of your home or within 6 feet of others. The facial covering should be ideally consist of two or three layers of material
  • Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Practice physical distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from others
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well

What are COVID-19 key terms I should know?

 There are important terms and concepts being used by medical professionals and the media. Below are some key terms to become familiar with: 

  • Close contact means being within six feet of someone for at least 15 minutes OR having direct contact with infectious secretions (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on).
  • Physical distancing (social distancing) is for everyone. It means keeping people farther apart to prevent the virus from spreading in communities.
  • Quarantine is for people who may have been exposed to the virus. It means keeping them physically apart from others in case they are infected (i.e., staying at home).
  • Isolation is for people who have the virus. It means keeping them separated from people who don’t have it.

I heard there are cases of COVID-19 on campus, how will I know if I was exposed?

West Chester University will be in contact with those that are known to have COVID-19 and will contact everyone that they have been in contact with. If you feel that you were in close contact with a student (or someone else) who you know has tested positive, please report this using the WCU COVID-19 Information Form (Click here)

If I have been exposed to COVID-19, should I be tested?

The goal in testing is to help those who are symptomatic and identify people who have been exposed to COVID-19 but who may never develop symptoms. If the test results for such asymptomatic individuals are “positive” and they were around others when they were potentially contagious, the Student Health Service will want to “contact trace” to identify additional people who may have exposed to COVID-19 by asymptomatic individuals so they can quarantine. This will help reduce the spread of infection to others.

The timing of the testing is also important. Ideally, testing should occur around 4-7 days after a known exposure, getting tested before that time increases the chances of a “false negative”.

It is important to remember that a negative test for COVID-19 does not replace the need to quarantine for the full 14 days after the last date of exposure to COVID-19.

What should I do if I got tested off campus and my result was positive?

If you receive a positive test result, you must isolate yourself from others and contact the Student Health Service for guidance on next steps for medical care and to learn how to protect others from being exposed. The university recommends that you also submit the positive test results to the WCU Student Health Services Coordinator at healthctr@wcupa.edu and complete the WCU COVID-19 Information Form (Click Here)

What should I do about my classes if I am in quarantine or isolation and cannot attend my in person classes?

If a student is asked to isolate or quarantine, they may not attend classes in person or be in places where others are present unless it is an emergency or to seek medical care. For the wellbeing of the campus community and to assist with informing professors about a needed absence, the Office of Student Assistance and Services will send an email to the Office of Academic Advising informing them that the student is unable to attend face to face classes. No medical information about the reason for the absence will be provided unless the student specifically requests that SHS share this information. If a student is too ill to participate in any classes (online or in person), the OSA will inform the Office of Academic Advising that the student is unable to attend classes either remotely or in-person, and the OAA will notify the student’s professors of these limitations

I am in quarantine and have begun to feel sick, what should I do?

If you are in quarantine and begin to feel sick, you must remain away from others and contact either the Student Health Service or your medical provider to discuss your symptoms. If neither of those options are available, please call 9-1-1 or WCU Public Safety 610-436-3311

My roommate was exposed to COVID-19 and is in quarantine now, should I be worried?

This will depend on numerous factors including their exposure, symptoms, timing (dates) and your direct contact with your roommate. It’s possible you may be contacted by WCU for additonal infromation. Please call Student Health with questions.

My friend just told me they tested positive for COVID-19, what should I do?

If you think you were exposed to someone with COVID-19, please report this on the COVID-19 Information Form, rather than calling or emailing the Student Health Service. 

You do not need to call the Student Health Service unless you have symptoms. 

While you are waiting to receive guidance from the Student Health Service or a healthcare provider, you should quarantine (which means staying in your room and not socializing with others). You can get grab-and-go food or order in; please do not eat with others. You can go out of your room to use the bathroom; do not congregate or go in groups.  

My friend is positive. I went out and got a test to make sure I was OK, and my test ended up being negative. I don’t need to quarantine, right?

You would need to report the exposure on the form and follow instructions from Student Health Service or healthcare provider.

While you are waiting to receive guidance from Student Health Service, you should quarantine (which means staying in your room and not socializing with others). You can get grab and go food or order in; please do not eat with others. You can go out of your room to use the bathroom; do not congregate or go in groups.  Someone will contact you to determine next steps. 

The best timing to get tested for COVID-19 after an exposure is 4-7 days after the exposure occurred. It is important to know that a negative test cannot tell you for certain if you are or will become infected. If you are determined to be a close contact, you will need to stay in quarantine for the full 14 days after an exposure.

A negative test DOES NOT mean you will not develop infection and become contagious during the 14 day quarantine period.

 The reason to test for COVID during quarantine is to determine if you are positive (and therefore infectious to others) while remaining without symptoms.  In that case we would want to let you know that you are infected and to let others know who you may have been around that they need to quarantine.

Your negative test does not “release” you from quarantine. You still need to remain in quarantine and watch for symptoms.

My friend got tested off campus and was positive, what should I do?

If you think you experienced an exposure to COVID 19, you should report that on the COVID-19 Information form so the Student Health Service can provide guidance on if you need to be quarantined and/or tested. Someone from the Student Health Service will contact you to ask about the time(s) you were around the person with COVID-19, the type of interactions you had, and if you feel sick. It would be very helpful for the SHS to know the date your friend became sick and the date they were tested.

When would I need to quarantine or isolate myself for COVID-19?

What can I do to prepare in case I get COVID-19?

Planning for the possible scenario of getting COVID-19 will help reduce any feelings of panic if it occurs. It can feel helpful to have specific information and items prepared in advance–just in case. 

Information to have ready:

  • Create a physical and virtual emergency contact list for each person in your living space. Include the names and contact information of important people, such as family members and friends.
  • Create a physical and virtual list of your healthcare facilities and providers so you have a plan of who to contact and where you can go to seek help.Know where the closest hospital is and make a plan for how you will get there.
  • Write down the phone number and digital contact information for BU Student Health Services and/or your local primary care provider. Also keep this information in a digital space that’s easy to access, such as your phone.
  • If you live off-campus, create a plan with those you live with about how you will use your space if someone is sick and in isolation. Consider deciding on a room or space that can be used for isolation, designating a separate bathroom (if available), and making these spaces comfortable. Also, talk about how those who are not in isolation will continue everyday preventive actions, including cleaning shared surfaces.

Items to have ready: 

  • Make a ready-to-go healthcare kit in case you need to quickly seek emergency medical care. Your kit should include a physical list of the “Information to have ready”, important identification and health insurance cards, any healthy-related notes (e.g., allergies, prescription medications), in addition to a few essentials (e.g., a toothbrush, water bottle, phone charger, and snacks).
  • Aim to have several weeks of any prescription medication.
  • Plan to have several weeks of medication to help relieve COVID-19 symptoms, including cough medicine acetaminophen (Tylenol). Also have a thermometer to help monitor your symptoms.
  • There’s no need to overload purchasing food or cleaning supplies, but consider having a few extra non-perishable food items and hygiene supplies in case you cannot go to the store.

What should I do if I need to quarantine or isolate for COVID-19?

 If you need to quarantine or isolate for COVID-19, read this guide

Is there a treatment for COVID-19?

 There are currently no medications or antiviral treatments proven to treat COVID-19.

 

Questions for SHS

Should I contact SHS if I have a medical question about COVID-19?

If you have a medical question about COVID-19, please call WCU SHS at 610-436-2509.

Should I contact SHS if I have questions about COVID-19 testing?

Students with testing and compliance questions for COVID-19 testing can contact SHS at 610-436-2509 or can email healthctr@wcupa.edu.

How do I make an appointment at SHS during this time?

SHS is delivering services via telehealth. This means appointments are available by phone and through a HIPAA-compliant version of the video chat platform, Zoom. You can schedule an appointment with a provider for urgent and non-urgent care. Some appointments might required an in-person visit.

Please call 610-436-2509 to schedule your appointment. 

 

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