COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2 and was discovered in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. It is very contagious and has quickly spread around the world. COVID-19 most often causes respiratory symptoms that can feel much like a cold, a flu, or pneumonia. COVID-19 may attack more than your lungs and respiratory system. Other parts of your body may also be affected by the disease.
Like many other respiratory viruses, COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch.
Signs and symptoms
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. Possible symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Exposure and Testing
If you have symptoms, test immediately. Testing is available at the Student Health Center. To make an appointment please call 410-617-5055. At-home rapid tests are also available for purchase in our office or at many retail stores.
If you were exposed to COVID-19 and do not have symptoms, wait at least 5 full days after your exposure before testing. If you test too early, you may be more likely to get an inaccurate result.
A negative COVID-19 test means the test did not detect the virus, but this does not rule out that you could have an infection. If you do not have symptoms but were exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19, you should continue to take recommended steps after exposure such as monitoring for symptoms and wearing a mask for 10 full days after last exposure.
Any student who tests positive for COVID-19 should complete the Student COVID Case Reporting form to ensure that the proper communication regarding next steps and more information about isolation.
We are continuing our isolation/quarantine plan, which has been successful, having students who test positive for COVID isolate in their rooms. Roommates may still be expected to share the space. For tips on sharing your space, please see our isolation-in place guidelines.
- Residential students who test positive for COVID are encouraged to return home to isolate, if possible, or isolate in their assigned room. You are required to isolate for five days after the date of your positive test. Your test date is Day ZERO.
- During this time, you are not permitted to move freely around campus and should coordinate with your instructors for makeup of classwork.
- You will be permitted to wear an N95 mask to grab meals to take back to your room
- You will be required to isolate in your room, treating your roommates and suitemates as your “family unit” while here at school.
- Student Health Services will help you coordinate when you are cleared to normal campus activities including classes, athletics, and other organizations.
- Students who are symptomatic and/or have a fever on day 5 may need to isolate for the full 10 days.
In addition to basic health and hygiene practices, like handwashing, CDC recommends some prevention actions which include:
- Staying Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines
- Avoiding Contact with People Who Have Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19
- Improving Ventilation
- Getting Tested for COVID-19 If Needed
Although wearing a mask is not required on campus (except in the Student Health Center and Counseling Center), community members are always welcome to wear a mask. There are many reasons why individuals would choose to wear a mask including but not limited to they or loved ones are immunocompromised, other health conditions preventing vaccination, personal preference, etc. Please be respectful of other people’s concerns around commutable illnesses.
COVID 19-vaccines are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer, more reliable way to build protection than getting sick with COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without you having to experience potentially severe illness or post-COVID conditions.
Student Health services STRONGLY recommends all students receive at least one bivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (as recommended by the CDC) however this is not a requirement for admission.
For more Information on COVID-19 or the COVID-19 vaccines please see the CDC Website.
Questions may be sent to COVIDResponse@loyola.edu.