Frequently Asked Questions
What is a novel coronavirus and what are the symptoms?
There are many strains of coronavirus that are associated with bronchitis, the common cold, and pneumonia. The strain causing COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing COVID-19 can cause mild-to-severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing and is at the root of the current global pandemic that is affecting campus operations.
What are the best preventative steps I can take to stay healthy?
Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Using soap, scrub your hands for at least twenty seconds.
Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
If you need to cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and then thoroughly wash your hands.
Routinely disinfect frequently touched items in your home.
Maintain physical distance from others, adhering to Safer at Home orders limiting public activity.
Use a face mask when you must leave your home to run essential errands. There are several tutorials for how to make a face mask online.
Get plenty of rest, consume ample water, and eat healthy meals.
What should I do if I think I may have been exposed to COVID-19?
If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 while they were infectious, you need to be in quarantine for 14 days after your last contact with them. People are considered infectious 48 hours before the start of their symptoms until their isolation period ends. Close contacts include all household members, intimate contacts, and all individuals who were within 6 feet of the infected person for more than 10 minutes. In addition, anyone who had contact with body fluids and/or secretions from the infected person (such as were coughed on/sneezed on, shared utensils or saliva or provided care without wearing protective equipment) needs to be in quarantine. The Los Angeles Public Health Department has published home-quarantine guidance.
If you are a member of the faculty or staff, you should notify your Appropriate Administrator or Administrative Services Manager if you are in self-quarantine.
What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19?
Call your healthcare provider and follow their counsel. For students on or near campus, this is likely Student Health Services. If you are a member of the faculty or staff, also notify your Appropriate Administrator or Administrative Services Manager. If you are in close contact with someone being currently tested for COVID-19, also notify Student Health Services.
You need to remain isolated at home for at least 3 days (72 hours) after recovery which means your fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications and there is improvement in your respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
You should notify all of your close contacts that they have been exposed and need to quarantine for 14 days. Tell everyone you had close contact with starting 48 hours before your symptoms started.
If your doctor asks to see you in person during your illness, avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis. If possible, put on a face mask before you enter the building or follow other protocols requested by your doctor in advance of your appointment. If you can’t put on a face mask, keep a safe distance from other people (at least 6 feet away).
At home, separate yourself from other people, including using a separate bathroom, if possible. Wear a face mask, if available.
Rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take over-the-counter cold and flu medications to reduce fever and pain. Follow the instructions on the package, unless your doctor gave you instructions. Note that these medicines do not “cure” the illness and, therefore, do not stop you from spreading the virus.
Do not share dishes, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home. After using these items, wash them thoroughly.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and then dispose of the tissue and clean your hands immediately. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
You or your caregiver should clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes. Caregivers should wear a mask and take other precautions if in the space you are occupying during your illness.
If you are having difficulty breathing or keeping fluids down, go to an emergency room or call 911.
Where can I get tested for COVID-19?
There are several test sites that offer free testing for COVID-19 throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties. There is also limited testing offered to students through Student Health Services on campus.