Should I get tested if I just have minor cold symptoms?
Probably. Many college students have very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, so it’s better to get tested and avoid spreading the virus. Call the Wellness Center at 507-457-1492 to talk about your symptoms and whether it is recommended you get tested.
If I have symptoms, can’t I just be careful and wait it out?
No! If we want to make it to the end of the semester, it’s important we identify positive cases and close contacts of those cases to prevent the spread of the virus to others. Even though many people have mild symptoms, they can still infect others before symptoms develop or after they’ve improved. In order to protect those at higher risk and prevent mild cases from turning into an outbreak, it’s important to get tested.
Is the test for COVID-19 uncomfortable?
Not really. Testing in the Wellness Center uses a nasal swab which is essentially a Q-tip inserted about 1 inch into the nose. Most students find this more comfortable than the throat swabs used to test for strep throat.
Do I have to quarantine while I’m waiting for test results?
Yes, but you can do this in your room. Roommates have generally already been exposed to one another, so students are able to stay in their room to wait for their test result. Roommates are encouraged to wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart while waiting for results.
What do I do about my classes while I’m waiting for test results or I’m in quarantine or isolation?
As long as the Wellness Center is aware you are waiting for test results or are in isolation or quarantine, they will notify other campus departments to make sure faculty are aware you will temporarily need to continue your classes remotely. Communicate directly with your faculty about how this will work.
How will I get meals while I’m waiting for test results or I’m in quarantine or isolation?
As long as the Wellness Center is aware you are waiting for test results or are in isolation or quarantine, they will notify other campus departments to make sure meals are delivered to your room (for on-campus students). Be sure to let them know if you have any dietary restrictions.
What if I got tested for COVID-19 off-campus?
Notify the Wellness Center so they can work with other campus departments to make sure your faculty are aware you will not be in class and to make sure meals get delivered to you (for on-campus students). Be sure to notify the Wellness Center of your results as well. You won’t be allowed to return to class until faculty have been notified.
What if I was told I’m a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19?
Notify the Wellness Center. They will help answer your questions and coordinate notification of faculty and meal delivery (for on-campus students). You will need to remain in quarantine for 14 days. The 14-day quarantine period begins on the day of last close contact with the person who tested positive.
If I’m a close contact, can I quarantine in my room?
Maybe. If you have your own sleeping room, you can quarantine there. If you share a sleeping room and your roommate is also in quarantine, you can quarantine together, but if one of you tests positive for COVID-19, the quarantine will start over for other roommates. For this reason, you may prefer to quarantine separately. If your roommate does not need to quarantine, you have the option of returning home for quarantine or going to the Alverna Center for that time.
If I’m a close contact should I get tested?
Probably. Many college students have mild symptoms or no symptoms so it’s probably best to get tested if you are a close contact. Infection can develop anywhere from 2-14 days after close contact, so it’s important not to test too early. You should wait at least 5-7 days after your last close contact with the person who tested positive. Even if your test is negative, it’s important to finish up the 14-day quarantine since infection can still develop up to 14 days after close contact.
If I test positive for COVID-19, can I isolate in my room?
No. Per Minnesota Department of Health guidelines, students who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate in a separate space set aside for that purpose, away from other students. You would have the option of returning home or moving to the Alverna Center where you would have a single room and your own bathroom. The 10-day isolation period begins on the day symptoms first began or on the date you were tested (if you don’t have symptoms).
Will my faculty be told if I test positive for COVID-19?
No. Faculty are advised that a student will be out of class, but are not told whether this is because you are waiting for a test result or are in isolation or quarantine. It is not necessary for faculty or classmates to be informed of your positive test unless you have identified them as close contacts.
Where can I learn more?
Contact the Wellness Center with questions at 507-457-1492 or firstname.lastname@example.org.