Updates

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates
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COVID-19 Vaccines

What If I Have Symptoms?

What If I'm A Contact?

Reporting A Positive Covid Result

COVID-19 Brochures & Resources

COVID FAQs

Visit together.vcu.edu for the university's latest updates and safety recommendations regarding COVID-19. 

COVID Vaccines

COVID vaccination is no longer required for students, except for those who are currently or periodically in hospital, clinical, or other healthcare settings.  Students in these settings should follow the requirements of their placement or work site.

Student Health strongly encourages students to be vaccinated and boosted against COVID.  Unvaccinated individuals are significantly more likely to become infected and/or hospitalized due to COVID.

  • Students can schedule free COVID vaccine appointments at both campus clinics through the Web Portal.
  • To search for vaccine availability off-campus, visit www.vaccines.gov.
  • Though not required, students are encouraged to upload vaccine documentation to the Web Portal as part of their health history.  Information regarding vaccination status is particularly helpful in the event that a student is identified as a contact to COVID.
  • For more information, visit VCU's COVID Vaccine FAQs page for students.

What If I Have Symptoms?

If you have symptoms concerning for COVID-19, please STAY HOME AND CALL STUDENT HEALTH to discuss COVID testing.  

  • It is important to self-isolate if you have any symptoms to prevent the spread of infection to others. 
  • Even if you think it's just a cold or allergies, your symptoms could still be due to COVID!  COVID symptoms vary widely, and the infection can only be ruled out with a negative COVID test. 

VCU offers free and convenient COVID PCR testing to students evaluated through Student Health:

  • During regular business hours, call Student Health at 804-828-8828 for a phone appointment and testing recommendations.
  • When clinic is closed (including nights, weekends, and holidays), call the COVID hotline at 804-MYCOVID (804-692-6843) or the Student Health on-call provider at 804-828-8828.
What If I Am A Contact To Someone With COVID?

The CDC recently released new guidelines for isolation and quarantine:

  • Essentially, anyone identified as a close contact to COVID should wear a well-fitted mask around others, both at home and in public, for 10 days after their last exposure.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated*, you must quarantine for the first 5 days after exposure (then wear a mask for another 5 days).  Full details are available at the link above.  *VCU considers fully vaccinated to be 1) having received an initial vaccination shot (or shots) and 2) having received a booster shot when eligible. 
  • If you remain asymptomatic, post-exposure testing should be completed on day 5 after the last exposure.
  • If symptoms develop, isolate immediately and contact Student Health for testing at 804-828-8828 during regular business hours or 804-MYCOVID (804-692-6843) after hours.
What If I Tested Positive For COVID Outside of VCU?

Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 at an outside clinic/testing facility should also call Student Health at 804-828-8828 to report their diagnosis so that we can ensure appropriate follow-up, contact notification, and accurate monitoring of COVID cases on campus. 


 COVID-19 Patient Education

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) FAQs

The CDC is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus strain, COVID-19. It was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and continues to expand. This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. University Student Health Services is working closely with the Virginia Department of Health in order to respond as needed.

Detailed information about COVID-19 can be found at the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and VCU Health System's website.

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that range from the common cold to other viruses like MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Coronaviruses commonly circulate in animals and sometimes also infect humans.

What are the symptoms of the COVID?

Symptoms related to this coronavirus strain can include fever/chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, body aches, headache, fatigue, new loss of taste or smell, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.  In more severe cases, an infection can cause pneumonia and other complications, especially for older individuals and those with other health conditions.  Students who develop symptoms should STAY HOME & CALL University Student Health Services to discuss testing:

  • During regular business hours, students should call Student Health at 804-828-8828.
  • After clinic hours (including nights, weekends, and holidays), students can call the COVID hotline at 804-MYCOVID (804-692-6843) or the Student Health on-call provider at 804-828-8828.
  • Other VCU community members should contact their primary care provider.

If you are sick, it is important to follow CDC guidelines for self-isolation to prevent the spread of infection to others.

I’m sick. How do I know if it is COVID or something else, like the cold or flu?

Coronavirus symptoms are often very similar to cold and flu symptoms.  Students who think they may have a cold, allergies, or any of the symptoms listed above are urged to self-isolate and call Student Health for free COVID testing and further evaluation.

Does VCU offer COVID testing to students?

Yes, VCU offers both symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID testing options to students.  Click on the link for additional details.

  • Students with symptoms should schedule a phone appointment with Student Health to determine if testing is needed.  Students can get free COVID testing on-campus only if they are referred by Student Health.
  • Students without symptoms who have been identified as close contacts to a COVID-positive person may also be referred by Student Health for free testing on-campus.
  • Students who do not have symptoms and are not contacts to someone with COVID can schedule an appointment for free "at-will" testing at two campus locations.  Click on the link above for details.
How do I prevent coronavirus?

Three COVID-19 vaccines are available for use in the United States.  Getting vaccinated will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and be an important tool in ending the pandemic. 

The following self-care habits are important ways to prevent the spread of COVID:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Social distance (keep a distance of at least 6 feet between you and others in public settings).
  • Wear face coverings to decrease the spread of the disease to others (even if you do not have symptoms).  The CDC recommends that people over the age of 2 and people who do not have trouble breathing wear a face mask in public areas.  Choose either a well-fitted cloth mask with at least 2 layers (3 layers is better!) or disposable masks that meet new standards of performance.  Review the following CDC recommendations to maximize the fit and effectiveness of your mask.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily.
  • Don’t share drinks or food. 
  • Cover your cough.
  • If you get sick, stay home, self-isolate, and rest.
What is VCU doing to protect the campus community?

Please visit together.vcu.edu for the latest news and updates on COVID-19 safety at VCU.  Safety measures for the spring semester include masking requirements, Entry Pass use, free at-will testing, contact tracing, enhanced cleaning, and other public health safety measures. 

The university is following guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on COVID screening and response protocols.  Student Health Services is also working closely with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to protect the health and well-being of our campus community.

Is the virus impacting travel?

Guidelines for travel are constantly changing with the pandemic.  Please visit the CDC's website for the latest recommendations and alerts related to domestic travel, international travel, and cruise ship travel.