Learn About COVID-19
COVID-19 Student Health and Safety
What is COVID-19? Accordion Closed
COVID-19 is an illness caused by a new or novel coronavirus not before seen in humans. It is not the same thing as a “common cold” or the flu.
How is COVID-19 transmitted? Accordion Closed
COVID-19 is spread very easily from person to person through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks near another person. The chance of transmission is greater when people are within close proximity to one another.
What is “community transmission”? Accordion Closed
Community transmission means that there are people in the community who have COVID-19 but do not know how they got it.
Can college students get sick from COVID-19? Accordion Closed
Yes. College students have been known to contract COVID-19. Typically younger people have milder cases but can still spread the disease to others. There have been some cases of severe illness and even death in the college age people. Learn more here (CDC).
What are symptoms of COVID-19 and does everyone have symptoms? Accordion Closed
The most commonly reported symptoms include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath. People with COVID-19 may develop a variety of other symptoms such as muscle aches and pains, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea/nausea and others. Not everyone with COVID-19 will develop symptoms. Symptoms of Coronavirus (CDC)
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19? Accordion Closed
Yes! There are currently three COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States. All adults are now eligible o receive the vaccine. More about the vaccine (CDC).
What does it mean to self-isolate? Accordion Closed
Isolation helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 by separating people with the virus from others.
What does it mean to self-quarantine? Accordion Closed
Quarantine helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 by separating people who MAY have the virus from others.
What to do if you feel sick Accordion Closed
- Stay home if you feel ill or have symptoms of COVID-19.
- Consider getting tested for COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who tested positive.
- Monitor your symptoms and seek medical care if they worsen.
- Learn more about what to do if you feel sick. (CDC)
Take care of your mental wellbeing Accordion Closed
It’s normal to feel fear and anxiety during stressful and uncertain times. There are steps you can take to manage your mental wellbeing while physical distancing:
- Take care of your physical health, including prioritizing healthy eating, exercise, and sleep.
- Limit your time spent reading/listening to the news to 30 minutes per day. When you do read the news, remember to focus on the facts, not the emotions.
- Stay connected to friends and family using phone, text, Facetime, Google Hangouts, etc.
- Get your information from trusted sources, such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Go outside: you can go for a short walk, hike along the FUTS trail in Flagstaff, go camping, or ride your bike/skateboard-just be sure to maintain a distance of 6 feet from others.
- Ask for help if you are struggling. Not sure how to ask? Try: “Hi support person. I’m not doing so good. I’m really anxious and having a hard time controlling my worry thoughts. Would you mind calling me or checking in on me more regularly? Maybe you could just tell me a funny story or about your day to distract me?”
- Make time for fun home activities, including board games, puzzles, your favorite movies, baking, or crafting.
- Limit alcohol consumption to less than 7 drinks per week for women and 14 drinks per week for men.
- Develop your ability to be resilient by visiting the NAU Resilience Project website.
- Check out the Counseling Services Website for additional mental health resources.
What if my professor or classmate gets COVID-19? Accordion Closed
When contact tracers do their investigation, they determine whether people have been exposed based on proximity to the infected person and whether masks were properly worn. Investigators will reach out if they determine the student or professor was at risk of exposing others.
How would I know if I have been exposed to someone with COVID-19? Accordion Closed
You may not. Many people may be infected with the virus but not have any symptoms. This is why it’s so important for everyone to continue taking precautions when around people outside of your household.
Contact tracers will also reach out if you are a reported close contact of a known positive. Be sure to answer the call.
Where can I get tested? Accordion Closed
How long will it take to get test results? Accordion Closed
It depends on the test location and type of test ordered. Some rapid tests can come back in 2 hours or less, while other tests can take several days. Check with your testing location for more detailed information.
What if I test positive for COVID-19? Accordion Closed
You will want to stay home and avoid contact with other people until you get your test results. If you test positive, you will need to isolate yourself from others to prevent spreading the disease. CDC Isolation Guidelines.
Who is at higher risk of complications from COVID-19? Accordion Closed
Certain groups of people have higher risks for more serious disease. Check here for more information.
What if my roommate on campus gets COVID-19? Accordion Closed
If you live on campus and your roommate gets sick, you will be asked to self-quarantine and work with Campus Health Services or the County Health Department. Residence life will give you additional directions about quarantine. Your roommate will be isolated by relocating them to a temporary space on campus. More information
What if my off-campus roommate gets COVID-19? Accordion Closed
Separate yourself from them as much as possible by giving them their own separate space including a bedroom and bathroom if available. Avoid being in the same room with them. If you do need to be in the same space, be sure you both are wearing a mask. Avoid sharing towels, food, drinks, clothes, utensils, plates, pens, computers or anything that might transfer germs. Increase airflow into your living quarters by opening windows wherever possible. You should self –quarantine and monitor for symptoms. You may be contacted by Campus Health Services or Coconino County Health Services. Self-quarantine guidelines.
What will I need to take care of myself if I do get sick? Accordion Closed
Acetaminophen or other fever reducer, tissues, plenty of water, cough/throat lozenges, tea, soup, crackers and thermometer for monitoring your symptoms. Make a plan to stay virtually connected with your support system.
Symptom Management (PDF)
What questions should I ask myself before deciding to go to work, class or other public settings? Accordion Closed
Ask yourself if you have any new symptoms, if you have been in close contact with another person who is infected with COVID-19 or if you have been in close contact with another person who MAY have COVID-19. If you answer yes to any of these questions, you should stay home.
What if my partner/love interest has COVID-19? Accordion Closed
Avoid all close contact with them until they are able to end their period of isolation. If you have been in close contact with them recently, stay home and quarantine. Contact your medical provider.
What should I do if I have been exposed to someone with COVID-19? Accordion Closed
If you were in close contact, within 6 feet, for at least 15 minutes, assume you have the virus and self-quarantine. Contact your medical provider.
If you have been vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine after being exposed to someone with COVID-19 as long as you don’t develop symptoms.
What should I do if I am experiencing COVID-19 symptoms? Accordion Closed
If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19 you should stay home and self-isolate. Contact your medical provider.
COVID-19 Vaccine Patient Education
What should I expect after getting the vaccine? Accordion Closed
You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away within a day or two. More information can be found on the CDC website.
When do I get vaccinated after I tested positive for COVID-19? Accordion Closed
Even if you’ve already had COVID-19, you are still eligible to get the vaccine. If you would like to discuss what is best for you individually, consider talking with your healthcare provider. Learn more here.
Now that I have received my first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, am I protected from COVID-19? Accordion Closed
No. According to the CDC, a second dose of the vaccine is required to provide the best protection against COVID-19.
If you received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, you will still need to wait 2 weeks before you are fully protected.
I’ve been vaccinated-is it safe for me to stop wearing my mask now? Accordion Closed
Being fully vaccinated allows you to return to many of the activities you enjoyed before the pandemic without wearing a mask. NAU recommends masks indoors and when around others who have not been vaccinated or in settings where you cannot be sure everyone is vaccinated. Learn more here.
I haven’t been vaccinated-is it safe for me to stop wearing my mask now? Accordion Closed
At this time, it is recommended that unvaccinated people continue to wear a mask in most situations. NAU still requires masks indoors. Learn more here.
What is herd immunity? Accordion Closed
Herd immunity occurs when enough people in a community are protected from a disease because they have either been vaccinated against or recovered from it. The WHO and CDC are studying what percentage of the population needs to be vaccinated to stop COVID-19 from spreading.
Why is it important to continue wearing masks and physically distancing? Accordion Closed
This will help protect others who have not yet been vaccinated and those at higher risk for complications from COVID-19. It will also help speed up the process of returning to our normal activities.
Do the vaccines help prevent me from spreading the virus to others? Accordion Closed
COVID-19 vaccines do reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others.
When can I be around my friends and family? Accordion Closed
You can start spending time with loved ones 2 weeks after you are fully vaccinated. Learn more from the CDC about choosing safer activities.
Can the vaccine give me COVID-19? Accordion Closed
No. The approved vaccines do not contain live virus so they cannot give you COVID-19.
Could I still get COVID-19 before my second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine? Accordion Closed
Yes. It’s possible that you could have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 prior to getting vaccinated. And because you don’t have maximum protection until after your second dose, you could get COVID-19 if you are exposed between doses.
If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it will take 2 weeks after the single dose until you are fully protected.
What about the new strains of COVID? Accordion Closed
We know that viruses mutate or change, including the virus that causes COVID-19. Early indications are that the vaccines are protective against most of the known variants. We want to try to prevent continued spread of the virus so that additional mutations can be stopped before they outsmart the current vaccines.
When will I be protected from COVID-19? Accordion Closed
Maximum protection from the vaccine is reached 2 weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, and 2 weeks after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
What if I tested positive for COVID 19 after the first dose? Accordion Closed
Contact your healthcare provider before deciding when to get the second dose.
Are the side effects any different for the second dose? Accordion Closed
Most people will experience mild to moderate symptoms within the first 24-48 hours following their second dose. These symptoms will resolve within 1-2 days of onset. Please check the CDC website for further details.