Student Health and Wellness Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ

The Medical Care staff at UConn Student Health and Wellness (SHaW) are closely monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the federal government, and we are working in collaboration with our local and state departments of public health regarding COVID-19.

We continue to serve as a health resource for students as they return from countries with COVID-19 CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notices. These students have been directed to self-quarantine at home for the 14 days following their return to the United States according to CDC guidelines.

Cases of COVID-19 have been reported across the United States. Because the situation regarding this illness is fluid and has been changing quickly, the university is posting regular updates to the community as new information and guidance arrives. Our thoughts go out to our families, friends, and colleagues at home and around the world who are struggling with this situation.


FALL 2020 COVID-19 FAQs    (Updated: 7/31/2020)

What are the COVID-19 testing requirements for Storrs residential students?

  • All residential students on the Storrs campus are required to be tested upon arrival to campus.  They will receive the COVID-19 test as part of the residential life move-in process.  For Storrs residential students, they will be tested on-site as part of the move-in process.  

What are the COVID-19 testing requirements for Stamford residential students?

  • All residential students on the Stamford campus are required to be tested upon arrival to campus.  They will receive the COVID-19 test as part of the residential life move-in process.  For Stamford residential students, they will receive a self-administered testing kit as part of their move-in process with detailed instructions for how to complete the test.

What are the COVID-19 testing requirements for commuter and off-campus students for all campuses?

  • Commuter students engaged in in-person learning are required to submit verification to Student Health and Wellness (SHaW) of a negative COVID test administered within 14 days prior to the start of classes.  Students should refrain from coming to campus until proof of test has been provided to SHaW.  

What if I am a commuter student having trouble getting a COVID test?

  • Student Health and Wellness (SHaW) has a link on their website “Find a CT COVID-19 Testing Site” for testing options in locations throughout CT.  In addition, for commuter students engaged in in-person learning who are having difficulty obtaining testing, SHaW will advise on additional options in the near future.

Are there other COVID-19 related requirements for Storrs and Stamford residential students?

  • In addition to re-entry testing, residential students on both Storrs and Stamford campuses will simultaneously observe a precautionary 14 day quarantine period on campus prior to the start of class.  
  • Residential students will be required to submit daily electronic symptom self-checks for 7 days.
  • Residential students will also be required to participate in ongoing surveillance testing throughout the semester provided by UConn.

Will I be required to have additional testing for COVID-19 during the semester?

  • In order to monitor the ongoing health of the UConn community, in accordance with the Connecticut Higher Education gating requirements, UConn will be doing random weekly surveillance testing of 5%-10% of the residential student population throughout the semester on both the Storrs and Stamford campuses.
  • In addition, UConn will be performing environmental monitoring on the Storrs campus through wastewater testing and pooled sampling for SARS-CoV-2 throughout the semester.

What if I feel ill or I experience COVID-19 symptoms?

  • If you feel ill or are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, for residential and non-residential, graduate and undergraduate students on the Storrs campus, call Student Health and Wellness at 860-486-4700 to obtain a screening and instructions on next steps.
  • For residential students on the Stamford campus, there will be a specific process outlined during move in for how to get a screening and obtain a test.
  • For Regional Campus off-campus and commuter students, contact your local healthcare provider.

I am a Storrs Campus residential student, what happens if I have symptoms or if I test positive for COVID-19?

  • Storrs Campus residential students who test positive for COVID-19, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, are recommended to self-isolate at home.  For those who cannot self-isolate at home, they will be placed in self-isolation in one of the dedicated reserved isolation spaces on campus.
  • Individuals in self-isolation must remove themselves from face-to-face interactions with others until they are recovered.  SHaW will provide daily telemedicine visits for Storrs students in isolation.  Food will be delivered by UConn Dining Services for Storrs based residential students in isolation.

I am a Stamford Campus residential student, what happens if I have symptoms or if I test positive for COVID-19?

  • Stamford Campus residential students who test positive for COVID-19, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, are recommended to self-isolate at home.  For those who cannot self-isolate at home, they will be placed in comfort care spaces in one of the dedicated residential spaces on campus. They must remove themselves from face-to-face interactions with others until they are recovered.  Stamford residential students in self-isolation will be provided instructions on self-monitoring and will continue to be cared for by their primary care providers. 

I am a commuter or off-campus student, what happens if I have symptoms or if I test positive for COVID-19?

  • Storrs based students may receive medical care and guidance through Student Health and Wellness while students on our regional campuses will continue to be cared for by their primary care providers. When possible, non-residential students should self-isolate at home.  They will be given self-isolation instructions. SHaW will provide medical support and instructions for Storrs off-campus students who test positive.

I am a student from out of state, will I need to self-quarantine?

  • As of July 24, 2020, the State of Connecticut issued new travel restrictions mandating that all travelers arriving to Connecticut from restricted states must submit Connecticut’s  online travel form and must self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. Students under this state mandate should stay home, separate themselves from others, and monitor their health.  
  • This will impact the ability to attend in-person classes so please plan accordingly. SHaW will be directly contacting students from travel advisory states with further direction on testing, quarantine, and registering with the University.  Any students with questions about their recent travel may contact SHaW directly.

What is the difference between self-isolation and self-quarantine?

  • Residential students are required to participate in a precautionary 14 day quarantine before the start of the fall semester. This time period will have fewer limitations than a medical quarantine. During this time period, residential students will not be confined to their rooms and will be provided with limited engagement opportunities which will follow the State’s guidance on gatherings.  Students are expected to remain on campus.

  • Medical quarantine is a period of time when a student who has been potentially exposed to the virus is medically advised to limit their in-person interactions with others. Residential students who are in this type of self-quarantine will not be able to attend in-person instruction and their movement around campus will be limited.  This prevents more individuals from potential exposure to the virus. Non-residential students will not be able to come to campus until cleared by their medical   provider. 

  • Self- isolation is required when an individual is diagnosed with COVID-19, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic. Individuals in self-isolation must remove themselves from all face-to-face interactions until they are no longer infectious. 

  • All students are strongly encouraged to have an isolation and quarantine plan.

What if someone I know is diagnosed with COVID-19 and I was in contact with them?

  • Contact tracing identifies individuals who have been less than 6 feet away from a confirmed positive case for greater than 15 minutes.  Regional departments of public health are responsible for contact tracing.  SHaW has been designated by DPH to contact trace UConn Storrs students. 
  • On the Storrs campus, SHaW will notify students identified through contact tracing. The Dean of Students Office will work with identified students to notify their faculty.  For the regional campuses, contact tracing will be conducted by the local departments of public health.

Will I need to be tested if I am identified as a close contact through contact tracing?

  • Our screening and testing strategy is designed to mitigate community spread through early identification.  Students with close contact exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual, even if they are asymptomatic, will be instructed to get tested. 
  • For Storrs students, close contact testing will be conducted by SHaW.  For Stamford residential students, we will provide a self-administered mail-in test.  For regional commuter students, they will be instructed on how to get tested.

What if I need to miss class due to self-quarantine or self-isolation?

  • Storrs students who need to miss class due to medical quarantine or isolation should email dos@uconn.edu to request support in notifying their faculty when they are unable to attend classes. Regional campus students should email the Student Services staff at their home campus to request support and faculty notification. 

Can I meet with a counselor while I am in self-quarantine or self-isolation?

  • Student Health and Wellness will continue to offer all mental health routine and urgent care through tele-mental health throughout the fall semester.  Visit the SHaW website for additional information.  

What are some other precautions that I can take to ensure that I am doing my part to keep the campus safe?

  • Limit close personal contact and maintain a minimum physical distance of at least 6 feet.
  • Wear a cloth face covering while indoors, in classrooms, labs, elevators, and other common areas, and outdoors when social distancing is not possible.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible.
  • Use hand sanitizer after interactions with people or objects if soap and water are not readily available.

I am a student employee, what do I need to do to be ready to work in-person on campus?

  • Student employees working on campus will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test or provide medical clearance documentation following a positive test result. If a COVID-19 clearance is required, one will be available as a Secure Message on the SHaW patient portal.

What should I bring to campus to be prepared for COVID-19 expectations?

  • Being prepared for COVID—19 is similar to what you typically need to be prepared for campus life.  A personal, reusable thermometer is a must-have. Additional items we recommend: 
    • Travel-sized hand sanitizer
    • Sanitizing wipes
    • Masks/ face coverings (2 reusable masks will be provided for each student)
    • Non-perishable food items and favorite snacks

I am a residential student, should I have a prepared packed isolation bag?

  • If you are directed to self-isolate you should be prepared to remain in self-isolation for 7-10 days. Residential students should have a prepared “go bag” with the following items:  
    • Thermometer 
    • Academic items: Laptop, laptop charger, phone, phone charger, pens, pencils, books, notepads, backpack. 
    • Clothing: Several changes of clothing, undergarments, socks, shoes. 
    • Bedding: Pillow, favorite blanket or throw blanket. 
    • Laundry bag or duffle bag 
    • Personal hygiene items: Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, glasses, contacts, contact solution, period products if applicable.
    • Medications: Any prescription medications you take on a regular basis and any over-the-counter medication you might need. 
    • Valuables: Student ID, wallet, purse, money. 
    • Water Bottle

I am a non-residential student, how should I prepare for self-quarantine/self-isolation?

  • If you are directed to self-quarantine/self-isolate you should be prepared to remain in self-isolation for 7-10 days.
  • Non-residential students are recommended to self-isolate at home, but may be able to self-isolate in their off-campus residence. Students self-isolating in their off-campus residence should prepare to have non-perishable food supplies on hand to support their period of isolation. There will also be community resources available.

What is the requirement for parents/guardians or other family members arriving from states under the travel advisory during the move in process?

  • Parents/guardians or other family members arriving from states under the travel advisory are recommended to follow Connecticut State guidance, which includes a testing option prior to arrival.  As a reminder, please note only one individual will be allowed to assist with move in according to the guidelines at reslife.uconn.edu.

Will we be able to get into the dorm on move in day without a test?

  • We expect all individuals arriving to Connecticut from states under the travel advisory to adhere to the guidelines, which include a testing option for those who are unable to observe the required 14 day self-quarantine.  

Is the dorm considered a “public place,” in terms of the Connecticut state form and not having to self-quarantine?

  • Yes, residential halls are considered "public places" and fall under the general restrictions for self-quarantine for individuals who arrive to Connecticut from states under the travel advisory. The exception is for students who are entering a residence hall as their designated self-quarantine space.

Information about Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)     (Updated: 7/18/2020)

What is COVID-19?

  • COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019. It has since continued to spread worldwide, including in the United States.

What is a “novel” coronavirus?

  • A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

When do symptoms appear?

  • According the CDC, symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to COVID-19.

What are symptoms of COVID-19?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

 

Use the CDC Self-Checker to help you make decisions and seek appropriate medical care.

How are individuals screened for COVID-19?

  • Individuals with symptoms of fevers, cough, and shortness of breath are screened with a series of questions to assess their risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to the onset of their symptoms. These questions include travel histories and contact with individuals diagnosed with or suspected of COVID-19 infection.

Can I be tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus?

  • Several commercial laboratories provide COVID-19 testing
  • Testing through commercial laboratories requires an order by a medical provider.
  • UConn Storrs students may be tested for COVID-19 through Student Health and Wellness Medical Care. Call (860) 486-4700, option #1 then #2 to schedule a Telehealth appointment.

How is COVID-19 spread?

  • The COVID-19 virus is spread through respiratory droplets from person to person.
    • Requires close contact: approximately 6 feet.
    • Can occur when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • Can also spread through touching an infected surface or object and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes, however, this is not thought to be the main way the virus is spread.

What can I do to stay healthy and protect myself?

Everyday preventive actions help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses. This includes:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Self-isolate when you are sick.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not into your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Should I wear a facemask to protect myself and the community from COVID-19?

  • Yes, the university requires facemasks or face coverings to be worn by all individuals in public spaces. 
  • In the setting of community transmission, wearing a face mask is protective for you and your community.

What do I do if I have been told to self-quarantine/self-monitor?

  • Remain at home for the recommended period of time except to seek medical care. This will depend on the reason or timing of the recommendation.
  • Monitor your health for symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day to monitor for a fever (100.4◦/38◦C or higher).
  • If you develop symptoms, call ahead before seeking medical care, and do not use drop-in urgent care sites or other locations. You may contact Student Health and Wellness to speak to a health care provider at: 860 486-4700: option #1, then #2.
  • Practice good hand hygiene with frequent hand-washing.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough and practice good cough etiquette (cough into your sleeve or elbow, not your hands).
  • Do not share personal items.
  • Decline requests from visitors during the quarantine period.
  • You can return to normal activities after the quarantine period is complete, there is no clearance process.
  • There are no recommended restrictions for other members of your household during the quarantine period as long as you continue to have no symptoms of COVID-19.

Is there a vaccine to protect against COVID-19?

  • COVID-19 is a newly identified virus and there is currently no vaccine to prevent infection.

Is there a treatment for COVID-19?

  • There is no specific treatment, including antiviral medication recommended at this time.
  • People infected with COVID-19 receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms and should remain isolated until symptoms resolve to avoid spreading it to others.

What if I think I have been exposed to COVID-19?

  • Individuals who think they may have been exposed and are experiencing symptoms should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
  • UConn Storrs students my seek medical care from SHaW at the Hilda May Williams building at 234 Glenbrook Road, Storrs. Please call first! Call 860 486-4700: option #1 then #2 to speak to a health care provider before you visit.

What is the plan for COVID-19 testing prior to fall semester reopening?

  • The University sent its preliminary COVID-19 testing strategy for the fall semester to the UConn community on Saturday, July 18, 2020 via Twitter

What self-care items should I bring to campus?

  • Most important is a thermometer for self-monitoring. Here is a list of other suggested items to have available.

Where can I get more information?