This information is primarily intended to answer some frequent questions and topics related to COVID-19 from students.

Last updated 9/22/22.


What are the most common symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 share some of the same symptoms as colds, mono, flu, and seasonal allergies. Some people have very mild or no symptoms at all. Symptoms can start 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus and might include:

  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever (100.4 °F or higher)
  • Chills
  • Muscle or body aches
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

What should I do if I have symptoms?

If you develop any symptoms that could be due to COVID-19, wear a mask, stay out of public spaces as much as possible and take a COVID test.  

Most symptoms of COVID-19 can be managed with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin), rest, and fluids, but some people experience severe symptoms. If you or someone you are supporting is experiencing severe symptoms (for instance trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or pale/gray/blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone), call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.



How do I get tested if I have symptoms?

As a student at UVM you have two different options for getting tested for COVID-19:

  1. Take an at-home COVID-19 test (also called a rapid test or antigen test). 
  2. Schedule an appointment for antigen and PCR testing at Student Health Services on MyWellbeing, or call Student Health Services to schedule an antigen and PCR test or to make an appointment with a healthcare provider. 

Please remember to stay home and away from others until you get definitive test results. If you must be around others, wear a well-fitting mask until you get your results.


Most at-home tests are rapid antigen tests that detect current infection by checking for a protein produced by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Students may pick up one rapid test kit per week at either Davis Center information desks while supplies last. Rapid tests are also available online or in pharmacies and retail stores. Remember that different tests have different directions, so make sure you read and follow the directions that come with your test. 


Positive Test Results and Isolation

What should I do if my test is positive?

Isolate as soon as you receive your positive test result even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations or never have symptoms. Stay home and away from others. Wear a mask at all times when you are around others and stay at least 6 feet from others as much as you possibly can.

Inform Student Health Services. Use the following form to report your positive test results.

If you are a Larner College of Medicine student please make sure you are logged into your account to complete the form. 

Report positive test results here

  • Since you cannot attend in-person classes during isolation, Student Health will notify your dean’s office and your professors will be informed of your need for academic flexibility for attending in-person classes.

Watch for symptoms. If you have any emergency warning signs, call 911 or seek emergency care immediately.

Notify your close contacts as soon as possible.

Contact Student Health Services as soon as possible if:

  • Your symptoms get worse.
  • You are more likely to get more severe symptoms due to an underlying medical condition. Possible treatment may be available for you.
  • You have questions about your isolation.

What should I do if my COVID-19 home antigen test is negative but I have symptoms?

Initial rapid antigen tests can come back negative even though you have COVID-19. If you know you have been exposed or are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home and away from others until you get definitive test results. If you must be around others, wear a well-fitting mask until you have received your test results. You can get definitive test results one of the following ways:

  1. Get a PCR test from Student Health Services.
  2. Take at-home rapid antigen tests at least 24 hours apart for another 2–3 days

Do I need to isolate if I test positive and am fully vaccinated? What does this look like and how long does it last?

Yes. Even if you are fully vaccinated, if you test positive for COVID-19 you must isolate. Isolation means staying out of public and away from other people as much as possible. This means you cannot attend in-person classes, labs, or work. 

If you live on campus and your permanent residence is within driving distance and no one there is at risk of severe COVID, we strongly encourage you to go to your permanent residence to isolate.

If you test positive you must isolate for at least 5 days from the date of your positive test or the start of your symptoms, whichever is earlier. If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can end your isolation but you must wear a well-fitted mask for an additional 5 days whenever you are in public or around others.

If you continue to have significant or worsening symptoms beyond 5 days, continue to isolate until your symptoms are improving and you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine such as Tylenol, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen.

If you had moderate illness, meaning you experienced shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing, or severe illness and were hospitalized due to COVID-19 or you have a weakened immune system, you need to isolate through day 10. Please contact Student Health Services for additional support.

If you have questions regarding your isolation timeline or are a healthcare worker, please contact Student Health Services.

What are the requirements for isolating if I live off campus?

  • If you live with roommates you should only leave your room (and you should only leave your apartment if you live alone) for food, to use the bathroom or to go to medical appointments.
  • You must wear a well-fitting mask whenever you leave your apartment or room.
  • If you live with any roommates, we encourage you and your roommates to wear masks while awake and stay physically distant as much as possible.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces as much as possible.
  • Do not share household items.

What should I do if I live on campus, tested positive for COVID-19, and need to recover in my room?

Omicron’s increased transmissibility and decreased severity among those who are vaccinated and boosted have rendered separate isolation housing an ineffective strategy for dealing with COVID-19 on campus. In response, UVM and many other universities and colleges have implemented an in-room recovery protocol for residential students who test positive for COVID-19. In-room recovery means:

  • Only leave your room to pick up food (please eat in your room), to use the bathroom or to go to medical appointments.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask whenever you leave your room. If you have a roommate, wear a mask at all times while you are awake, unless you are eating or engaging in another activity that requires your face to be uncovered. If you and your roommates both test positive for COVID-19, you can go unmasked in your room but must still wear a well-fitting mask anytime you leave your room.
  • Stay physically distanced from your roommate as much as possible.
  • Pick up meals to go or have a friend pick up meals for you. Meals should be taken back to your room to be eaten. Do not eat in the dining hall or any other public area.
  • You can go outside to get fresh air or go for a walk as long as you remain physically distanced from others and wear a mask.
  • Do not do laundry yourself. If you need laundry done ask a friend to do it for you.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly.
  • Do not share household items.

How do I access meals if I am recovering in my room?

You may pick up a meal to go from retail or traditional dining hall using EcoWare to bring back to your room or to eat outside. Well-fitting mask must be worn at all times while inside.

If you are too sick to go to a dining facility you can authorize a friend to use your meal plan to pick up a meal for you by completing the meal plan access authorization form. Meals can be picked up from Central Campus Dining Hall, Harris Millis Dining Hall, Redstone Dining, Northside Dining, The Marketplace, and the University Marche. Your meal plan will be charged accordingly. The meal plan access authorization form can also be used to take disposable to-go meals from the dining hall if you do not have EcoWare.


Exposure and Notifying Close Contacts

What do I do if my roommate/housemate tested positive?

  • Wear a high-quality mask for ten days after exposure and get tested five days after exposure. If you live on campus, wear a well-fitting mask at all times while awake and whenever you are in the same space as the roommate who has COVID-19. If you live off campus, wear a mask whenever you are in the same space as the person who tested positive.
  • Stay physically distanced from the roommate who has COVID-19 as much as possible.
  • As long as you do not develop symptoms, you can go about your daily life as normal. It is fine to go to class, work, and eat in the dining halls but please wear a mask in public.

If I test positive, how do I notify my close contacts and what do I tell them?

It’s important for people in close contact with you to know that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Especially with more contagious variants, the sooner people know they may have come into contact with the virus, the sooner they can take steps to protect themselves and to prevent further spread in the community.

Follow these steps to help identify and notify close contacts:

  • Before contacting anyone, identify your infectious period. The infectious period is when you can spread the virus to others.
    • If you have symptoms, the infectious period starts 2 days before you noticed any symptoms and continues until your isolation period ends.
    • If you don’t have symptoms, your infectious period starts 2 days before the day you got tested and continues for 10 days.
  • Identify your close contacts
    • Close contact means within 6 feet, for a combined total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
    • People are considered a close contact regardless of whether anyone was wearing a mask.
    • Make a list of anyone who was in close contact with you during your infectious period. Look at your planner, calendar, social media, and photos to remember what you did, where you have been, and who you have been with.
  • Notify all your close contacts
    • Let your close contacts know that they may have been exposed and provide them with the date you got tested and the date you were last together. 

What if I am exposed?

You do not need to quarantine but do need to do a few things for the 10 days following your exposure:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days from exposure to reduce the chance of spreading virus. 
  • Monitor yourself for symptoms. If symptoms develop, isolate and get tested.
  • Test 4 days after exposure or later with two antigen tests (rapid self-tests) at least 24 hours apart, OR
  • Test 5 days after exposure or later with a PCR or LAMP test.



Masks are not currently required in most settings on the UVM campus unless you currently have COVID or are a close contact to someone who has tested positive. To best protect yourself and others, however, you may choose to wear a well-fitting mask when you are in crowded or public spaces.

High-quality masks are available online or in pharmacies and retail stores. With your CATcard, students and employees may pick up a pack of two KN-95 masks per person each week at the Davis Center information desk while supplies last.

COVID-19 Health Equity Resources

Student Health Services



Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.