Students who are feeling ill with any type of respiratory symptoms, whether you have a fever or not, please do not attend class on campus. Call health services during business hours at 651-631-5246 or call the COVID Response Hotline after hours at 651-631-5353 for further directions.
Exposure: MDH defines a COVID exposure as someone who has been within 6 feet of a confirmed COVID positive individual for 15 minutes or more throughout a 24-hour period. It is important to note though that even shorter periods of time or longer distances can still spread the virus. If you feel that you have been exposed, please do not attend class on campus until you have talked to a Health Services staff member or someone from the COVID Response Hotline.
To report COVID -19 exposure or positive result, use the COVID-19 Reporting portal.
If you are thinking ahead to Spring Break, unnecessary travel is still highly discouraged by CDC. Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
If you have been instructed to sign a release form for your isolation/quarantine period, please click here to sign the release form.
Coronavirus (officially COVID-19) is the name of the illness people get when infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the official name given to the actual virus). It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Since then, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global pandemic of COVID-19. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this new virus COVID-19.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in most people. The virus is a public health concern because:
- It is new and we currently have a limited understanding of the virus.
- Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have caused severe illness
- Older adults and those with underlying chronic medical conditions or compromised immune systems may be at increased risk of complication
- Read more about illness severity
Infected individuals can spread the virus through respiratory droplets when they cough, sneeze or exhale. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby and be breathed in; on surfaces and objects that other people touch. Infected people may be able to spread the disease before they have symptoms or even if they are asymptomatic. Research has shown that 30-45% of people infected do not develop symptoms. The picture depicts your risk exposure according to your activities (click on picture to enlarge):
The most common symptoms can include the following; fever, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, congestion, and the loss of taste or smell.
Other less common symptoms include:
If you are experiencing any of these emergency symptoms listed below, call 911 right away. If you are a student living on campus, please call Public Safety 651-631-5310 after you have called 911.
- Blue lips or face
- Consistent pressure on the chest
- Trouble focusing/concentrating
- Difficulty being aroused/staying awake
All students with COVID-like symptoms or exposure must be reported to UNW via the COVID-19 Self Report Portal, by emailing Health Services at firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling Health Services at 651-631-5246. If you have symptoms or have been exposed, please get tested. Call Health Services for a same-day appointment to get tested.
If you are still unsure of whether or not you should get tested, click on this link to read Minnesota Department of Health’s current recommendations.
Students who have symptoms and choose not to be tested, must isolate for at least 10 full days until their symptoms have improved and have been fever-free for 24 hours without taking a fever- reducing medication.
If you choose a PCR test where you have to wait for results, keep in mind that while waiting, you should stay home and separate yourself from other people in your home as much as possible. Wash your hands often and clean frequently touched surfaces.
What test options does Health Services have?
Rapid Antigen Test:
Our most commonly used test is the nasal rapid antigen test. It is an excellent option and available for those with or without symptoms. This test detects protein fragments specific to the Coronavirus. Results are received within 15-20 minutes of the test time. This test also includes detecting Influenza A and B strains. The rapid antigen test is $47.00. For students, the cost is charged directly to the student account. For employees with UNW insurance, it is covered by your insurance company. For employees without UNW health insurance, $47.00 is due at the time of the test. A receipt is provided upon request (to submit to your insurance company for potential reimbursement).
Nasal PCR Test:
PCR testing is considered the “gold standard” in SARS-CoV-2 detection. This test actually detects RNA (or genetic material) that is specific to the virus and can detect the virus within days of infection, even those who have no symptoms. It is sent out to Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) for processing and results are generally back within 24-72 hours. This test is billed directly to your insurance company from HCMC. The cost is $75 for non-insured students, the charge to the insurance may differ. *Please be aware that if your health insurance denies this claim, the fee will be directly charged to your student account. Please bring a copy of your insurance card to your appointment.
Free Testing Options:
We have obtained a free rapid antigen test which is available for individuals with symptoms within a specific criteria. We will utilize that test whenever possible based on your symptoms; if the test is negative, you may be advised to have a follow up test for further confirmation.
We also have a free spit PCR test through VaultHealth. You can either set up an appointment through Health Services to have one of our nurses watch you complete the test, or set up a Zoom meeting through VaultHealth. You will be asked for your insurance, and if you do not have insurance MDH covers the cost. Once the specimen is sent out through UPS, the results will come back within 24-48 hours after the lab receives the package. It is important to note that you must not eat, drink, smoke, or chew anything for 30 minutes before your testing session.
Call for same-day appointments through Health Services at 651-631-5276.
Monday- Friday: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
2955 Centre Pointe Drive
Roseville, MN 55113
You can also follow this link to find an off-campus testing location near you.
***Both influenza and COVID19 have R0 of 2 to 3 people. 1 infected person with COVID19 can transmit the disease to around 2 to 3 people.
Does Northwestern require students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
No. Northwestern does not require COVID vaccines for students or employees. Individuals are advised to seek information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines from personal health care providers. If you do not have a primary care provider and would like to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine with one of the providers in UNW Health Services, please make an appointment.
If I get a COVID-19 Vaccination, what is next?
Once a person is fully vaccinated:
- Do they need to be tested for COVID-19?
Yes, testing recommendations don’t change. They should get tested if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or if exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
- Do they still need to wear face coverings and maintain 6 feet physical distancing?
Yes, they would still need to use mitigation efforts.
- Do they need to quarantine if exposed to someone who tests positive to COVID-19?
Yes, they would still need to quarantine.
What to expect CDC handout (click to enlarge):
It is best to stay informed of the travel recommendations put forth by the CDC. This link outlines those recommendations and includes an interactive map in which you can determine the level of risk to an area you are considering. Travel increases your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. If you are thinking ahead to Spring Break, unnecessary travel is still highly discouraged by CDC. Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
If you have necessary travel plans, all air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States.
As with all travel, please practice the following precautions:
- Clean your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
- Keep 6 feet of space between yourself and others
- Wear a mask
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Bring enough of your medications to last the entire trip
- Consider packing food or picking up food from the store, drive-thru or curbside pickup
Currently, there are no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 infection. There has been a vaccine created, but as of right now it is not available to the general public. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Here are good habits to practice to prevent the spread of infection:
- Stay home as much as possible. Stay home when you are sick!
- Wear a face covering when a public setting
- Practice social distancing, stay at least 6 feet away from people who are sick
- Work from home if you can
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with the inside of your elbow or your sleeve. If you use a tissue, do not reuse it. Throw it away and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available.
Minnesota now (as of July 25, 2020) requires the use of face coverings in all public indoor settings and spaces, unless alone. Face coverings can include paper or disposable mask, cloth mask, a neck gaiter, a scarf, a bandanna, or a religious face covering. The face covering must cover the nose and mouth completely and should not be overly tight or restrictive.
A face covering is not a substitute for social distancing, but is especially important in situations when maintaining at least 6-foot distance from other individuals who are not members of the same household is not possible.
If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you will need to quarantine yourself for 14 days.
Follow these steps to properly quarantine yourself:
- Stay at home except for testing or needed medical care
- Stay away from people who are at high-risk for COVID19. This includes older adults, those living in long-term care facilities, and people with health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, or weakened immune systems.
- If you start to feel sick, separate yourself from others in your household. Stay in a specific room and use a separate bathroom if possible.
- Do not use public transportation, ridesharing (such as Uber or Lyft), or taxis.
- Wear a mask
- Avoid sharing personal household items. Do not share food, dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
Situations where you would not need to quarantine:
- If you have had a confirmed, recovered case of COVID19 in the last 90 days and do not have current symptoms of COVID19.
- If someone has completed COVID-19 vaccination (two doses in a two-dose series or one dose in a one-dose series) and is exposed.
- The exposure has to be at least 14 days after their last vaccination dose, and within 90 days of their last vaccination dose. They also have to not be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
You can shorten your quarantine period to 10 days and return to work/ school the 11th day if:
- You have not had any symptoms.
- You have not had a positive test for COVID-19.
- No one in your home has COVID-19, and you do not live in a building with other people, where it's hard to stay away from others and easy to spread the virus to multiple people, like a long-term care facility.
- You do not work in health care or congregate care setting, such as long-term care or a correctional facility.
- You had a defined exposure, meaning a known exposure with a beginning and an end.
You should stay away from others for the full 14 days if:
- Someone in your home has COVID-19. The 14-day quarantine period starts the day after the person with COVID-19 completes their isolation period.
- You live in a building with other people, where it's either easy to spread the virus or there are many people at high risk for getting COVID-19, like a long-term care facility.
- You work in health care, or congregate care setting, such as long-term care or a correctional facility.
After stopping quarantine: Wear a mask, stay 6 feet from others, wash hands, and avoid crowds or settings with people who are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
Notify Health Services of your exposure as soon as possible by using the COVID-19 Self Report Portal. Health Services will do its best to get back to you within a few hours.
Notify Health Services, and/or primary care clinic as soon as possible if you start to develop symptoms
If you have flu-like symptoms that include any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, loss of taste and/or smell, shortness of breath, muscle/body aches, sore throat you should go get tested for COVID-19 at Health Services, your local primary care office or affiliated testing site. Please call your insurance carrier to get a list of local places you can go to get tested.
In order to isolate properly:
- Do not go to work, school, or any other place outside the home. Stay at home for 10 days from when your symptoms started, until your symptoms are getting better and you have had no fever for the last 24 hours, without using medicine that lowers fevers.
- Stay away from others in your home. Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom if you can.
- Avoid sharing personal household items. Do not share food, dishes, drinking glasses, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home. After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water. Clean all frequently touched surfaces in your home daily, including door knobs, light switches, or faucets.
- Wear a face mask if you need to be around people, and cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Wash hands thoroughly afterwards.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
To deal with the sickness:
- Check your temperature at least twice a day, and record them
- You can take Tylenol, Ibuprofen or Cold/Flu relief medications as directed
- Stop taking medication as soon as you start to feel better so you can monitor your temperature without the aid of fever reducers.
- Keep hydrated by drinking adequate amounts of fluids, eat small meals often
- Alternate activity with rest, as you're able
If you tested positive and are symptomatic or if you've been sick with any type of respiratory illness, whether you've had a fever or not, it is highly recommended that you stay home until you are completely well. Stay home until all three of these things are true:
- You feel better- i.e: your cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms are better and
- It has been 10 days since you first felt sick and
- You have not had a fever for at least 24 hours, without using fever reducing medications (Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Nyquil/Dayquil, etc.)
If you tested positive for COVID-19 but did not have any symptoms, day 1 of isolation starts the day you were tested and you will be in isolation through day 10.
If you have further questions or feel like you need to talk to a provider, call Health Services at 651-631-5246.
Office hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8:30 AM- 4:30 PM
Wednesdays: 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM- 4:30 PM
Health Services is closed during weekends, academic breaks and holidays.
After hours, go to a doctor's office, urgent/urgency center or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your symptoms.
CDC's Visual Decision Tree to help you determine what to do based off of symptoms, and/ or exposure:
If you are currently being prescribed a medication through Health Services:
- Preferred method: send us a secure message via electronic medical system or register on Medicat so that you can communicate with Health Services via secure messaging
- You can call Health Services at 651-631-5246 to talk to a Health Services staff or provider
The outbreak of COVID-19 may be causing some fear and anxiety and may be stressful for people. Coping and managing with stress can help you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. Here are some tips on how to cope with self- quarantine at home:
- Exercise- get your heart pumping with a fun-filled Zumba lesson on youtube or a test your flexibility with a live streaming of Yoga. Whichever activity you choose, choose one that will take your mind off COVID-19.
- Cook or bake- you can finally perfect (or at least attempt) that dish you have been craving for so long
- Do some cleaning or de-cluttering that you have been putting off for a while
- Get your information from a reliable source, such as WHO, CDC, or MDH
- When you feel overwhelmed or anxious, remember to take a deep breath- breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth
- At this time, you still are able to go outside and take a walk, or get some fresh air.
- Take this opportunity to take a break from your normal routines and do some relaxing activities such as reading a good book, watching movies or a series that you haven't had time for.
- Remember, you can still stay connected with the people who are important to you via FaceTime, Skype, Marco Polo (app),
- This document put together by our counselors here at UNW on how to cope with mental health during COVID-19 is a great resource to get tips on how to deal with anxieties that you may have with this pandemic and looking to God for calm and peace.
- Here is video that can help you stay mentally healthy during this pandemic.
Below are some things to prepare if you will be living on campus:
- Advil (Ibuprofen) or Tylenol (Acetaminophen), or both
- Dayquil or Nyquil
- Mucinex (expectorant)
- Hand sanitizer for your backpack or purse
- Small cans of 7-up
- Extra Kleenex
- Warm fleece blanket for chills
- Icepack for forehead if you run a fever
- Cough drops
- Lotion (your hands can get dry from frequent handwashing, and it is a great protection from viruses and bacteria as well)
- Disinfectant wipe/spray to clean frequently touched surfaces
It is also highly recommended for you to carry a copy of your insurance card with you, and have a care plan for when you are really sick.
If I tested positive and have been instructed to isolate for 10 days, can I visit someone else who is in quarantine or isolation?
No, at this time per UNW policy we are asking that you do not do this.
What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?
Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. (cdc.gov)
What is the length of time I need to isolate or quarantine?
Someone from Health Services, Student Care, or Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will discuss the quarantine dates with you.
If you are positive for COVID-19 (symptomatic or asymptomatic) and are isolating, you will isolate from either the day after your symptoms started for 10 days and the 11th day is the return back to campus/normal routine, OR the day after you tested positive if asymptomatic for 10 days with the 11th day being your return back to campus date. You must be fever free, with symptoms improving, and without needing to take over the counter medications for at least 24 hours in order to return back to campus.
If you are in quarantine as a result of an exposure to a confirmed positive case, you will need to quarantine for a full14 days starting the day after you had last close contact with that person.
You may be able to leave quarantine earlier if you meet certain criteria. Please discuss with Health services staff.
Who needs to report a positive COVID-19 result?
When do you need to contact Health Services?
If you have been in contact with someone who is a confirmed COVID-19 positive individual.
If you have any of the following symptoms: cough, fever, body aches, shortness of breath, headache, fatigue, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, or diarrhea.
If you would like to complete a COVID-19 test, please call Health Services at 651-631-5246
If you have any other questions related to your health and well-being.
What does it mean to be a close contact with someone?
You were within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more, masked or unmasked.
You are living in the same household or are the roommate of a COVID19 positive individual.
You were in direct contact with infectious secretions of a person diagnosed with COVID-19 during the infectious period (e.g. direct care of a COVID-19 positive individual, kissing, sexual activity).
How does COVID-19 spread?
Covid-19 spreads through respiratory droplets or small particles produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes. A person may also get COVID-19 by touching surfaces or objects that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes.
What are some ways that I can reduce the risk of getting COVID-19?
- Always wear a mask and maintain 6 ft. distance when you are in a public setting and when around people who don't do not live in your household.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. The best times to wash your hands are before and after meals, after using the restroom, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or after caring for someone who is sick.
Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow. Please remember to wash your hands after coughing or sneezing into a tissue.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
What are my options for testing?
UNW offers testing in the health clinic Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30 PM. Please note we are not accepting walk-in appointments at this time. Please call or email to set up an appointment.
Our rapid antigen test is an excellent test which also tests for Influenza A and Influenza B. Results are available within 15-20 minutes. The test costs $47 and is billed to your student account after your visit. This may be reimbursable through your health insurance; please ask for a receipt prior to leaving your appointment.
We also offer a PCR COVID-19 test which is sent out to Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) for processing. This test is billed directly to your health insurance from HCMC. Results are generally returned within 24-72 hours. Please bring your insurance card with you to the appointment if you wish to have this test. If your insurance does not cover this test, you will receive a $75.00 charge on your student account to cover the cost of the test to UNW. Please check with your insurance company ahead of time to make sure they cover the cost of the test.
Alternative testing options:
What is contact tracing?
Contact tracing is a means of communicating with sick or exposed individuals to identify those at risk for spreading or contracting an infectious disease.
It has been used for decades to slow or stop the spread of infectious diseases.
In terms of COVID-19, it informs people that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and should monitor their health for signs and symptoms of the disease.
Contact tracing helps people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 to know if they should be
Contact tracing asks people to self-isolate if they have COVID-19 or self-quarantine if they are a close contact of someone with COVID -19 (CDC.GOV)
If you have any questions or concerns regarding COVID-19, please call our office at 651-631-5246 and our staff will try to help you as best we can. Please know that we are here to help and serve you.