The Center for Health and Wellbeing supports students in protecting your health and the health of others. Our goal is to help you access health resources at UVM and to understand health policies from UVM and the Vermont Department of Health. 

Click here for information on UVM’s overall response to COVID-19. If you need an immediate response to any questions please email UVM.strong@uvm.edu.

Here are some answers to questions we have gotten and topics that have come up related to COVID-19.

Last updated 10/28/20.

Prevention

Give people physical space

This is called physical distancing. Stay at least 6 feet from people outside your household. This includes when taking walks outside and at the grocery store. 

Wear a face mask.

Since you may be infected and not know it, wearing a face covering whether or not you feel sick helps protect people around you from possible exposure to the virus. It’s also the law to wear a mask in public in Vermont if you cannot maintain adequate distance outdoors or are inside. Keep reading for tips on how to best wear a mask below.

How should a mask fit?

Cloth face coverings should:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.

  • Be secured with ties or ear loops.

  • Include multiple layers of fabric.

  • Allow for breathing without restriction.

  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

Remember—your mask only works if it covers your nose and your mouth and touching your mask can spread germs.

How do I remove my mask and keep it clean?

  • Remove the mask using the ear loops or ties to avoid touching the front of the mask. Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth when removing it.

  • Immediately wash your hands after removing it.

  • Don’t put it where others can touch it or on counter tops or tables.

  • Clean cloth masks daily, by hand or machine, using detergent. Make sure it’s completely dry before using.

  • It's best to have a few masks on hand so you can rotate for washing.

Clean your hands and avoid touching things that could be contaminated.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Since COVID-19 can get transmitted between your hands and other surfaces it’s important to wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds and sanitize surfaces like doorknobs, your phone, computer, counters, your bathroom, etc. at least once a day.
If you are on campus or away from home use hand sanitizer while you’re out and then you’re your hands when you get home.

Cover your cough.

Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and immediately dispose of the used tissue.

Communicate about what's comfortable to you.

You and your roommate or housemates might be comfortable with the same COVID-19 health and safety risks as each other... or you may not. You won't know unless you talk to each other about your boundaries and comfort. The Office of Student and Community Relations has some tips on how to have these conversations. 

Symptoms

What are the most common symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 typically appear 2-14 days after exposure, so you can spread the virus without even knowing it. These are the most common symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever (100.4◦F) 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

What should I do if I have symptoms?

If you’re sick with any illness, please stay home or in your room and call Student Health Services to talk to an advice clinic.  Student Health Services will assess your symptoms to determine if you need to get tested. 

As with any sickness, like the flu or common cold, (which are different than COVID-19, but spread similarly), follow these additional guidelines to protect yourself and others:

To protect yourself:

  • Rest and stay hydrated.

  • Take Tylenol or other acetaminophen pain relievers, fever reducers, decongestants, or cough medicine to manage symptoms. If you have chronic health conditions, please call Student Health Services or your primary care provider before taking these medications.

  • Clean your hands often either with soap and water for 20 seconds or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

To protect others:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.

  • Use a separate bathroom if available.

  • Avoid sharing personal household items (cups, dishes, utensils, towels, bedding).

  • Clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces at least once a day.

  • Avoid public areas/transportation.

Should I go to the Student Health Services?

Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care, or other health facility without calling in advance. Your provider will need to take special measures to protect other people in the clinic. Telemedicine may also be available, enabling you to consult a provider from home. Students may contact Student Health Services.

Travel During the Semester

Travel information for students traveling outside of Vermont

Personal travel beyond Vermont is strongly discouraged during the semester. If you leave the state you will be required to quarantine upon return.

You carry a significant risk of bringing the virus that causes COVID-19 back from other states after travel.  We have a shared obligation for upholding the expectations of the Green and Gold Promise. The quarantine for students returning from another state follows a similar process to arrival quarantine.

Please take the following steps as you plan your travel, preferably before returning to Vermont:

  • Fill out a form for temporary exemption from testing.
  • All students traveling to counties that are NOT identified as having a similar active COVID-19 caseload by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (i.e. all students traveling to "yellow" or "red" counties) or who are traveling by public transportation must make arrangements to quarantine after returning to Vermont.
    • On-campus students must email Student Health Services at CHWBSHSnotifications@uvm.edu to make arrangements for on-campus quarantine.
    • Off-campus must register their travel and quarantine with Student Health Services at CHWSHSnotifications@uvm.edu but may quarantine in their off-campus spaces.

Travel Approval and Excused Absences 

Travel for personal reasons and the required quarantine that follows is not an excused absence from class and your quarantine may have a negative impact on your academic performance.

If a family emergency requires your travel outside of Vermont, notify your Dean’s Office as soon as possible before departure. Your Dean’s Office will work with your faculty members to ensure the continuity of your coursework.

Essential travel, such as that for personal safety, medical care, care of others, parental shared custody, or for work will require pre-approval from your Dean’s Office.

Travel Information for Families Traveling to Vermont

Families coming from out of state to visit must follow the guidelines for travel to Vermont as outlined by the Department of Health and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development

All travelers from out of state travelers using lodging, camping and short-term rental properties in Vermont must sign and complete a Certificate of Compliance at the time of reservation and check-in to attest that they meet the state of Vermont requirements.

Quarantine Requirements for Travelers from Out of State

Families do not need to quarantine upon arrival in Vermont if they are traveling directly to Vermont by personal vehicle AND have traveled from a county with a similar active COVID-19 caseload as Vermont, as identified by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

For families coming from farther away or from counties with higher active COVID-19 caseloads, the follow options for quarantining apply:

  • Families must quarantine upon arrival in Vermont if they are traveling by public transport or farther than a direct car ride allows.
    • Quarantine can take place in a Vermont lodging establishment or with friends and family.
    • Travelers must stay in their quarantine location for the duration of quarantine other than to travel to and from a test site.
    • They may complete either a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative test.
  • Families can quarantine in their home state and enter Vermont without further quarantine restrictions if they are traveling from a high-risk area identified as having a higher active COVID-19 caseload by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development  AND travel directly to Vermont by personal vehicle.
    • They may complete either a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative test in their home state.

Read more about quarantining at the Vermont Department of Health website.

COVID-19 Testing and Monitoring During the Academic Year

Weekly Testing and Testing Schedule for Asymptomatic Students

All undergraduate, graduate, medical, and non-degree students who are enrolled as on-campus students must undergo regular COVID-19 testing.

Testing will take place Monday-Friday in the Burack Lounge in the Davis Center. You can schedule your appointment through the CoVerified app. At your scheduled appointment you will use a nasal swab to perform a RT PCR test and collect a sample from just inside your nostril with guidance from a trained observer. Our goal is for your appointment to take less than 10 minutes and for you to get test results within 24 hours. If you test positive, Student Health Services will follow up with you by phone to help you navigate the next steps.

Our testing plan is the following:

  • Pre-arrival test: five days before arriving on campus
  • Arrival test on Day 0: the day you move into a residence hall or the first day of classes (if you live off campus). 
  • Week One test on Day 7: seven days after your arrival test.
  • Weekly tests: through September 18

During the week of September 14, UVM will evaluate its testing strategy to determine the appropriate frequency of testing for the rest of the semester.

For more information on testing

Do I need to get tested if I have already had COVID-19?

On July 22nd the CDC and Vermont Department of Health released new testing and quarantine guidelines for people who have previously tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. Special rules apply to you for 90 days from the onset of your COVID-19 symptoms or for 90 days from the date of your positive test if you were asymptomatic. During these 90 days:

  1. You do not need to be tested for any reason if you remain asymptomatic.
  2. You do not need to quarantine if you have close contact with someone with COVID-19.
  3. If you become symptomatic during this period, you may need to quarantine and get tested for reinfection based on the recommendations of a healthcare provider.

If you have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 within 90 days of when you need to submit your pre-arrival test, please contact Student Health Services at CHWBSHSnotifications@uvm.edu to determine next steps on how to submit your positive test results and what testing will look like for you going forward. 

Will I get charged for testing?

There is no charge for the University required surveillance testing.

You should confirm the details of your coverage with your insurance company as it relates to COVID-19 testing for any off-campus testing sites, including University of Vermont Medical Center.

What is the process for contact tracing and determining if I have been exposed? 

When a student tests positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, Center for Health & Wellbeing staff will start the process of contact tracing. This process will identify anyone who might have spent 15 minutes or more within six feet of the person infected over a 24-hour period starting two days before the sick person had symptoms until the time they were isolated. (This means a roommate or good friend would more likely be a close contact than someone who lives down the hall.) If you have been exposed to someone who is asymptomatic that timeframe would begin two days before they have a positive test. 

Contact tracers will contact students, staff, and faculty who are considered close contacts by being within six feet of someone for 15 minutes or more during they time they are considered contagious. If you have class or live on a hall with someone who becomes infected UVM will only notify you if you meet these parameters.  

 

Quarantine

What is quarantine?

Quarantine means staying in a specific designated location (i.e., your apartment or room) away from others, for the purpose of observing and monitoring your health status for the potential development of symptoms. When you are in quarantine you cannot attend school or work in person or leave the house to run errands or go grocery shopping. Quarantine is also critical in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others in our community. The Vermont Department of Health describes the kinds of activities that are and are not permissible under quarantine here

Is there more than one type of quarantine?

For our purposes we are using two types of quarantine—arrival quarantine and exposure quarantine. 

  • Arrival quarantine applies to those students who have to quarantine when they arrive on campus or who travel during the semester to counties in states with higher rates of COVID-19. Find out if you need to quarantine when you arrive or return to campus.
  • Exposure quarantine applies to students who are identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

Why do I need to quarantine if I have been exposed to someone with COVID-19?

If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 you quarantine because you may have been infected with the virus that causes this illness.  If you stay away from others after learning you were exposed you won't run the risk of spreading the virus to someone else if it turns out you are infected.

What happens if I live on campus and need to quarantine? 

If you’ve been exposed you will temporarily stay in a separate residential hall. Do not leave your quarantine location for any non-essential reason, including class, work, shopping, or to use public transportation. Please connect and communicate with family and friends by phone or computer. You can leave your room to go to the bathroom, but you need to wear a mask and wipe down areas you used to disinfect the bathroom after each use. Dining Services will provide three meals a day, in addition to bottled beverages and non-perishable snacks, that will be deducted from your meal plan. More information on dining is available here

You will need to monitor your symptoms daily and remain in quarantine. On or after seven days, you will get tested and remain in quarantine until you receive negative test results. They typically take 36-28 hours to arrive.

A nurse from Student Health Services will call to check in with you about symptoms and offer support regularly. Student Health Services will also communicate with the dean of your school or college to let them know you will miss any in-person classes while you are quarantined, but we will not discuss the specifics of your situation with your professors. (See our confidentiality policy here.)

If you experience any symptoms, please call Student Health Services 24/7. You can leave your room to seek medical care but must wear a mask to do so. Make sure you call your provider before arriving in person.

What happens if I live off campus and need to quarantine?

If you’ve been exposed you will be expected to generally stay in your bedroom. Do not leave your quarantine location for any non-essential reason, including class, work, shopping, or to use public transportation. Please connect and communicate with family and friends by phone or computer. You can leave your bedroom to go to the bathroom, but you need to wear a mask and wipe down areas you used to disinfect the bathroom after each use.

You will need to monitor your symptoms and take your temperature twice a day. A nurse from Student Health Services will call to check in with you about symptoms and offer support. Student Health Services will also communicate with the dean of your school or college to let them know you will miss any in-person classes while you are quarantined, but we will not discuss the specifics of your situation with your professors. (See our privacy policy here).

If you experience any symptoms, please call Student Health Services 24/7. You can leave your room to seek medical care but must wear a mask to do so. Make sure you call your provider before arriving in person.

You can get tested on or after seven days of quarantine. If the test is negative you can end your quarantine.

The biggest difference between quarantining on- and off-campus is that if you live off campus your roommates or housemates will be expected to be your support system and help make sure you have food, hydrating beverages, and any other necessities. If your roommate or housemate is quarantined you should maintain physical distance.

Isolation

What will happen if I get sick or test positive and live ON campus?

If you live on campus and are awaiting test results for Covid-like symptoms, you will move into isolation housing. Results are available within 24-48 hours. Students with pending results have rooms on a separate floor from those who have tested positive. UVM adheres to all CDC and Vermont physical distancing protocols.

If your test results are positive, you will move to a different floor in isolation housing. You will get daily telehealth check-ins to monitor your symptoms and care, meals delivered by Campus Dining, and we will communicate with your professors to request flexibility with academic expectations. Residential Life staff can also be a resource for you during your time in isolation housing.

What amenities are provided in on-campus isolation housing? What do I need to bring with me?

Isolation rooms are furnished and empty and look like a residence hall room when you move in for the semester. Once you enter isolation you will not be able to leave until you are healthy so plan to bring anything you might need with you, including the following:

  • Bedding
  • Towels
  • Toiletries
  • Medications
  • Clothes
  • Books
  • Laptops
  • Phone and charger

What will happen if I get sick or test positive and live OFF campus?

If you live off-campus and get sick you should stay in a separate room from other members of your household with the door closed and avoid all contact with them and any pets that may live with you.Do not use the kitchen or any other common spaces. If possible, please use a separate bathroom; if you can't, wear a mask and disinfect all surfaces you touch. If you need groceries or medication, plan to have friends, housemates, or a delivery service like Instacart or BBZ Delivery Collective get them for you and have your roommate put your delivery right outside your room. You will get daily telehealth check-ins to monitor your symptoms and care and Student Health Services can communicate with you Deans and professors to request flexibility with academic expectations.

If you live off-campus and cannot manage these requirements, Student Health Services can support you in moving to isolation housing.

What are the isolation requirements?

  • Do not leave your designated space for any reason, except to seek additional medical treatment.
  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • Wear a mask whenever you open your door or go to the bathroom.

For more information, the Vermont Department of Health has created a useful graphic providing guidance on quarantine and isolation.

Will UVM notify my family if I test positive? 

For students 18 and over, UVM adheres to FERPA privacy laws. We can only share protected health information with your formal consent. We encourage you to let your family and loved ones know if you get sick.

For More Information

I want to learn more. Where can I find information?

  • Student Health Services can give you the ins and outs about what UVM is doing to support students and help you figure out if you should get tested.

  • Vermont Department of Health has information on staying safe, policies, and data related to COVID-19 in Vermont

What is UVM's plan? Where can I find resources to help me pay for food or housing?  What’s happening with classes for the fall?

Check out UVM's centralized COVID-19 website