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.

As Vermont reopens, the state's Vermont Forward: Roadmap to Reopening plan allows higher education to operate under under more stringent guidance than what the state provides. UVM’s requirements for students may therefore be less permissive than what the state or the city of Burlington currently allows. Students are required to adhere to UVM’s guidelines and to the Green and Gold Promise even in situations when state guidance is less restrictive.

Here are some answers to questions we have gotten and topics that have come up related to COVID-19. Please check back regularly as information may change. 

Last updated 4/22/21.

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:

  • Follow COVID protocols.

  • Rest and stay hydrated.

  • 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?

If you are a student and have COVID-19 symptoms please call Student Health Servics to get tested. Please do not go to the UVM COVID Testing Center is you have symptoms.

Travel During the Semester

Travel information for students traveling outside of Vermont

Essential Travel

If your out-of-state travel is considered essential you are not required to quarantine after returning to Vermont and can return to your typical testing schedule.

Non-essential Travel

Personal travel beyond Vermont for non-essential purposes is strongly discouraged during the semester. Please note that travel for a COVID-19 vaccine is considered essential travel.

Traveling outside of Vermont for a non-essential purpose is a violation of the Green and Gold Promise. If you choose to travel outside of Vermont for a non-essential purpose, you are required to get tested within three days of your return.

If you live on campus you will be required to quarantine in an on-campus quarantine space and get tested after three days. You can leave quarantine once you receive a negative test result.

If you live off-campus, you are prohibited from coming to campus (including attendance at in-person classes or UVM sponsored events) until receiving a negative result. The only exception is that off-campus students may come to campus to get tested as long as they are symptom-free and leave campus immediately after being tested.

Travel Planning

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 for non-essential reasons must make arrangements to get tested 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 CHWBSHSnotifications@uvm.edu. You may not return to campus or attend any in-person classes or events until they have received a negative test result unless they are symptom free and coming to campus only to obtain a COVID-19 test. If coming to campus to test, off-campus students must leave immediately after and not return until they have received a negative result.

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 Visitors 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.

All travelers from out of state must either be fully vaccinated (14 days after your final dose) before arrival or must have a negative COVID-19 test result that was performed within 3 days before arriving in Vermont.

 

COVID-19 Testing and Monitoring During the Academic Year

Testing for Asymptomatic Students

All undergraduate, graduate, medical, and non-degree students who are enrolled as on-campus students must undergo regular COVID-19 testing. Students must be tested by UVM’s COVID-19 Information and Service Center  twice weekly between March 1-March 13.  

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. If you test positive, Student Health Services will follow up with you by phone to help you navigate the next steps.

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. 

Do I need to get tested if I am fully vaccinated?

Students who have been fully vaccinated must get tested every seven days.

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

When do I need to quarantine?

You need to quarantine if you are a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 or if you live on campus and travel out of state for a non-essential purpose. More details for students who live on-campus are available here and for students who live off-campus here

What is quarantine?

Quarantine means staying in a specific designated location (i.e., your apartment or room or in quarantine housing on campus) 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

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 during the semester? 

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

If you need to quarantine due exposure 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.

If you are quaranting due to exposure 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.

If I already had COVID-19 and am identified as a close contact do I need to quarantine? 

If you had COVID-19 in the past and are a close contact of someone who tests positive you can skip quarantining as long as:

  1. You had a positive COVID-19 test result (from a PCR or antigen test) and have met the criteria to end your isolation, and
  2. The new exposure is within the first three months after symptoms from your initial infection started, or within the first three months of your first positive test if you didn’t have symptoms during your initial infection, and
  3. You have not had any COVID-19 symptoms since the new exposure.

Even if you are not required to quarantine after exposure you must still follow Vermont regulations and quarantine after traveling out of state as well as refrain from multihousehold gatherings. 

 

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 into a designated isolation space. You will have access to medical services as needed, 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. 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.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine

For information about the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Vermont please visit the Department of Health website

For information about policies and procedures for members of the UVM community who have gotten vaccinated against COVID-19 please visit the Return to Campus website

What are the requirements for students who are fully vaccinated?

All students must continue to wear a mask in public, follow distancing guidelines and gathering limitations, and adhere to UVM's travel policies. Vaccinated students must also comply with UVM’s testing protocol; however, vaccinated students may request an exemption from some of the testing requirements (i.e., if students are required to test twice per week, vaccinated students may request an exemption and only test once every seven days).

If you are fully vaccinated and are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 you do not need to quarantine. 

 

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