March 13, 2020
We understand that this is a time of uncertainty, and that uncertainty may be causing anxiety about your health and wellbeing as well as your academic endeavors. First and most importantly, we want to let you know that the Health and Counseling Center staff is here to help with your physical and mental health needs. We are open Monday through Friday, 9 am-5pm (closed 12-1 pm) including Spring Break, March 16-20, 2020.
We have received questions about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) from your Student Senators that we thought would be helpful to address. Please refer to the Reed Coronavirus FAQ page for any other questions, and feel free to send any additional questions not addressed in the FAQ to email@example.com. Additionally, remember how important it is to support each other and not stigmatize. We can all fight against stigma by learning and sharing facts, including the fact that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups.
1) If I become ill, how will I know IF and HOW LONG I should self-isolate?
- Individuals with a mild respiratory illness (this means fever, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, cough) should stay home/refrain from close contact with others until 72 hrs after their fever and cough (if present) resolve.
- If a person is placed on self-isolation by the public health department because their symptoms have caused concern about the possibility of a COVID-19 infection, or the individual has a positive COVID diagnosis, the health department will determine when that person is able to resume regular activities.
- If you live on campus and are staying home due to an illness, you may arrange to have a friend or representative pick up food to-go on your behalf from the Commons menu or from the Market Place.
- More information can be found at this excellent “What to do if I get sick?” page.
2) What are the kinds of symptoms or situations that would cause greater concern for COVID-19?
If you experience any of the following, please CALL the HCC at 503-777-7281. We will get you in very quickly, and calling first helps to prevent exposure to others. After-hours, please call the Community Care Line at 800-607-5501.
- Fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38.0 degrees Celsius) or above
- Persistent shortness of breath
- You have mild symptoms, but you are aware of being exposed to someone who has COVID-19, or have been to an area that is known to have widespread transmission of the virus.
3) How do I know if I have a fever without a thermometer?
People with fevers usually don't feel well. They may alternate between feeling hot or chilly, or they may have body aches all over. The HCC can provide you with a thermometer to monitor your temperature if you have concerns. We have also been handing out thermometers in Commons.
4) What if I get sick and have a counseling appointment?
Please call us at 503-777-7281 to cancel, reschedule or discuss the possibility of having your visit via the phone. But please stay home, even if your symptoms are mild.
5) What if I have an urgent medical need?
Ideally, please call ahead to let us know you are coming. Tell us that your need is urgent, and we will see you that same day for a "triage" visit. This means you will meet with a medical professional who will assess if you need further care at that moment, referral to urgent or emergency care off campus, or if you can safely be seen at a later time.
6) I’m worried about my risk of getting COVID-19, based on an existing health condition I have. What should I do?
According to the CDC, people who are considered “high risk” of getting serious illness from COVID-19 are:
- Older adults
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
Even if you don’t meet the CDC definition of “high risk, ” if you are still worried about your risk of infection, here are some things you can think about doing:
- Talk to your doctor about getting sufficient refills of your medications (consider mail-order).
- Take everyday precautions including frequent handwashing.
- Avoid crowds and take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people.
- Check out this website to learn more and help you make a plan in the event you become ill.
- If applicable, contact Disability and Accessibility Resources to discuss your accommodation needs.
7) I’m having a lot of trouble with worry and anxiety around this. What can I do?
We encourage you to use the following tips to manage stress or anxiety that can arise in the midst of uncertainty or fear about your or a loved ones’ safety.
- Seek accurate information from one source such as the World Health Organization and limit exposure. Try to limit the time spent reading and talking about the virus.
- Acknowledge reactions. Allow yourself time to reflect on what you are feeling and how you may be reacting to any fears and uncertainties of the future.
- Even if you are limiting your physical distance from others, resist withdrawing from the support and caring that others can provide.
- Pay attention to positive news instead of only focusing on negative and fear-producing reports.
- Practice calming rituals: Stay grounded in the present moment, which can help you maintain an internal sense of stability and balance when outside events feel threatening.
- Take care of yourself. Practice good sleep hygiene, exercise, and eat a balanced diet.
- Seek support and use campus resources. Reach out to friends and family. If you or someone you know has high distress that does not seem to be lessening, talk about it with others or come to the Health and Counseling Center.
- Here are some helpful resources for managing coronavirus anxiety from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
8) I’m sick, but the symptoms are pretty mild. What should I do?
If you are feeling sick with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 or another respiratory illness such as the flu, here are some steps to help you feel better:
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: Drink plenty of fluids, including water, soup, herbal tea, or low-sugar ginger ale. Stay away from alcoholic beverages.
- Rest: rest and sleep is the best way to regain your health.
- Try over-the-counter (OTC) medications: Treat your symptoms with over-the counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen for headaches, achy muscles, sore throat or fever; phenylephrine for nasal congestion; and dextromethorphan for cough.
- Keep a low profile: You will need to self-isolate (stay home) until 72 hours after your fever or cough (if present) resolve.
- Keep it clean: Frequently wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, wipe down frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant like clorox wipes or hot soapy water.
- Cough etiquette: Even by yourself, cover your coughs and sneezes with tissues or cough into your elbow, not your hands. Immediately, throw away your tissues and wash your hands.
- Currently, there is no vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19. There are clinical trials being conducted for a COVID-19 antiviral medication that looks promising.
Let us reiterate that the HCC is here to support you, and we will need your assistance at this busy time to help keep our community healthy. Our staff sometimes become ill as well, which may mean wait times might be a little long if we are short-staffed. We greatly appreciate your patience. Following the above guidance will help us stay well so that we can be here for you. Please contact us at 503-777-7281 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Medical Services
Director of Counseling Services
Associate Dean of Students for Health and Wellbeing