Updates

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates

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IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS CONCERNING FOR COVID-19, please STAY HOME AND CALL STUDENT HEALTH at 804-828-8828 to discuss COVID testing.  IT IS IMPORTANT TO SELF-ISOLATE if you are sick to prevent the spread of infection to others.

Students with symptoms of COVID-19 or who are close contacts to someone with COVID-19 should contact VCU Student Health Services to discuss testing recommendations:

  • During regular business hours, call Student Health at 804-828-8828.
  • When the 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.

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 student safety and accurate monitoring of COVID cases on campus. 

Students returning to VCU residential dorms/housing in January will need a negative COVID test prior to returning to campus.  For detailed information & instructions, click on the following link for Spring Entrance Testing.

Please visit the One VCU: Responsible Together website for the university's latest updates and safety recommendations regarding COVID-19.  VCU Health System also maintains a COVID-19 site that provides additional information and resources.


 COVID-19 Brochures

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.

If you have symptoms concerning for coronavirus, such as fever or respiratory symptoms, and/or were exposed to someone with known/suspected coronavirus, please STAY HOME and CALL Student Health at 804-828-8828 for testing and self-care recommendations.  If you are sick, it is important to follow CDC guidelines for self-isolation to prevent the spread of infection to others.

More information about COVID-19 can be found at the Virginia Department of Health, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

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 coronavirus?

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 and contact 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.
How do I prevent coronavirus?

The FDA has recently approved the first COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use in the United States.  The vaccines, which are given in 2 doses, are safe and very effective.  For more information about vaccine safety, side effects, and efficacy, click on the link above.  As supply increases and vaccine becomes widely available in the upcoming weeks to months, the public is strongly encouraged to complete vaccination to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help end the pandemic. 

As the number of COVID cases continues to rise, it is of upmost importance to employ the following self-care habits 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 cloth face covering in public areas.  Click on the following link to review CDC guidelines on face coverings.
  • 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.
I’m sick. How do I know if it is coronavirus or something else, like the flu?

Coronavirus symptoms and flu symptoms can be similar.  STUDENTS WHO ARE SYMPTOMATIC should stay home and call Student Health at 804-828-8828 for testing recommendations.  If clinic is closed, students should call 804-MYCOVID.

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 volunteer for a limited number of free "at-will" testing appointments on-campus.
  • Beginning January 19, 2021, asymptomatic surveillance (or "prevalence") testing will be mandatory for residential students, students attending on-campus classes, and employees working on campus.  Selected participants will be contacted by email and must comply with testing.
What is VCU doing to protect the campus community?

Please visit the One VCU: Responsible Together website for the latest news and updates on COVID-19 safety at VCU.  New safety measures for the spring semester include mandatory surveillance testing as described above, updated student and employee training, and Entry Pass.  Classes will begin virtually with the intent to move to in-person formats as pandemic conditions improve.  

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?

New COVID testing requirements for all air passengers arriving in the US from a foreign country will go into effect January 26, 2021.  Please visit the CDC's website for the latest recommendations and alerts related to travel. 

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