Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others whenever possible. Each person with whom a person is in contact brings their prior contacts; therefore, you should consider that contacts outside your social group would also include that person’s outside contacts, thus increasing risk.
What does social distancing really mean?
What is “close contact”?
CDC defines a close contact as being within 6 feet of someone for 15 minutes or longer, with or without a mask. Close contact can also include intimate contact for shorter than 15 minutes, like kissing, sharing drinks or utensils or being coughed on. Close contact also means being in a shared living space even if you were not within 6 feet, like roommates or spending a longer amount of time together without a mask in close proximity- like watching a movie or game night.
I’m a healthy young adult, is there any actual risk that I would get really sick from COVID-19?
A recent article in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that 32% of young adults (Age 18-25) are at risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms. The strongest risk factor was smoking. The risk for non-smoking young adults is 16%.
Does weather affect how COVID-19 is spread? Is there a sick season like there is with the flu?
It appears unlikely that there is a seasonal component to COVID-19, thus this a virus that can be spread year-round.
I have filled out the “SneezSafe” daily screening and have been told I am “not cleared”, what should I do next?
The SneezSafe tool is to help students know what to do if they have symptoms of possible COVID-19, an exposure to COVID-19 or a positive test for COVID-19. If you receive a message from the SneezSafe that you are “not cleared” and feel sick, you should remain in your room and call the Student Health Service for a telemedicine appointment to determine if you need testing and to discuss care for your illness.
If you had a known exposure to someone with COVID-19, you should quarantine yourself and a staff member from the COVID-19 Team will contact you to help determine if you are at risk of infection with COVID-19 and the next steps for protecting yourself and those around you.
General COVID-19 FAQs
My friend just told me they tested positive for COVID-19, what should I do?
If you think you were exposed to someone with COVID-19, please report this on the SneezSafe screening tool, rather than calling or emailing the Student Health Service. However, if you have already completed your SneezSafe for the day, email firstname.lastname@example.org to say you may have been exposed.
You do not need to call the Student Health Service unless you have symptoms.
While you are waiting to receive guidance from the Student Health Service or a contact tracer, you should quarantine (which means staying in your room and not socializing with others). You can get grab-and-go food or order in; please do not eat with others. You can go out of your room to use the bathroom; do not congregate or go in groups. A “contact tracer” will contact you to determine next steps.
NOTE: Do not worry if you do not hear from a contact tracer right away; it can take up to 24 hours.
My roommate was exposed to COVID-19 and is in quarantine now, should I be worried?
This will depend on numerous factors including their exposure, symptoms, timing (dates) and your direct contact with your roommate. It’s possible you may be contacted by WFU contact tracers. Please call Student Health with questions.
I heard there are cases of COVID-19 on campus, how will I know if I was exposed?
Wake Forest University will be in contact with those that are known to have COVID-19 and will contact everyone that they have been in contact with. If you feel that you were in close contact with a student (or someone else) who you know has tested positive, please report this on your daily SneezSafe entry.
If I have been exposed to COVID-19, should I be tested?
The goal in testing is to help identify people who have been exposed to COVID-19 but who may never develop symptoms. If the test results for such asymptomatic individuals are “positive” and they were around others when they were potentially contagious, the Student Health Service will want to “contact trace” to identify additional people who may have exposed to COVID-19 by asymptomatic individuals so they can quarantine. This will help reduce the spread of infection to others.
The timing of the testing is also important. Ideally, testing should occur around 4-7 days after a known exposure, getting tested before that time increases the chances of a “false negative”.
It is important to remember that a negative test for COVID-19 does not replace the need to quarantine for the full 14 days after the last date of exposure to COVID-19.
My friend tested positive, I went and got tested afterwards and tested negative. Do I still need to quarantine?
The best timing to get tested for COVID-19 after an exposure is 4-7 days after the exposure occurred. It is important to know that a negative test cannot tell you for certain if you are or will become infected. If you are determined to be a close contact, you will need to stay in quarantine for the full 14 days after an exposure. Your quarantine stay may be decreased to 10 days if you meet certain requirements.
A negative test DOES NOT mean you will not develop infection and become contagious during the 14 day quarantine period.
The reason to test for COVID during quarantine is to determine if you are positive (and therefore infectious to others) while remaining without symptoms. In that case we would want to let you know that you are infected and to let others know who you may have been around that they need to quarantine.
Your negative test does not “release” you from quarantine. You still need to remain in quarantine and watch for symptoms.
Exposure and Contact
What should I do if I got tested off campus and my result was positive?
If you receive a positive test result, you must isolate yourself from others and contact Student Health Service ASAP for guidance on next steps for medical care and to learn how to protect others from being exposed. The university requires that you also submit the positive test results to the University’s COVID-19 Coordinator at email@example.com.
When should I report a positive COVID-19 test result?
If you receive a positive test result, you must isolate yourself from others and contact the Student Health Service for guidance on next steps for medical care and to learn how to protect others from being exposed. The university requires that you also submit the positive test results to the University’s COVID-19 Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org if the test was taken off-campus.
NOTE: You do NOT need to report test results taken on campus either at Student Health Service or during weekly random testing.
Do you guys offer testing for COVID-19 on campus? How long do results take?
Yes, we do offer testing for COVID-19 on campus through Student Health Service. These tests are sent to a commercial lab and results can take from 2 to 10 days to return based on how many tests have been performed. Most recently test results are available in 2-4 days. The cost of our SARS-CoV-2 RNA (COVID-19), Qualitative NAAT (CPT: 87635) is $120 ADD ( a receipt for the test is provided so that students can be reimbursed by their insurance company. There is no charge for students who have the Student Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Policy.)
Student Health Service offers point-of-care antigen testing for active infection (exhibiting symptoms), which will yield results in approximately 20 minutes.
Can I get a test whenever I would like? How do I make an appointment?
You must make an appointment at the Student Health Service in order to obtain a test. Do not just walk-in and request a test. This policy is in place to reduce possible exposures in the Student Health Service lobby and other spaces. To make an appointment, call the Student Health Service at 336.758.5218.
Can I get reimbursed for the test I got taken at Student Health?
The below document covers steps for filing with your insurance and getting reimbursement for the cost of the test.
How accurate is your test?
There are many factors that can influence the accuracy of a test. The reported sensitivity (probability of a positive test in a patient with disease) of our PCR test is at least 95%. The specificity (probability of a negative test in a patient who truly does not have disease) of our PCR test is 100%. For the antigen test, a positive result is accurate 84% of the time and a negative result is accurate 100% of the time, as compared to PCR.
I am in quarantine and have begun to feel sick, what should I do?
If you are in quarantine and begin to feel sick, you must remain away from others and contact either the Student Health Service or your medical provider to discuss your symptoms. If you are in the Wake Forest sponsored hotel, the Student Health Service will communicate with the staff there to help you come to campus for a medical appointment if that is indicated after you have a telemedicine visit.
I am in isolation at the University sponsored hotel. I learned that my COVID test is negative and Student Health Service has informed me that I no longer need to follow isolation precautions. How soon can I leave?
Once the Student Health Service can verify that no additional isolation or testing is indicated, they will notify the hotel staff that it is appropriate for you to be released from isolation. Your release is not immediate, as there is a discharge process that may take a little while. You should remain in place until you hear from the hotel staff; the front desk will phone you to let you know it is time to pack up, turn your keys in, etc. The hotel can drive you back to campus if needed.
What should I do about my classes if I am in quarantine or isolation and cannot attend my in person classes?
If a student is asked to isolate or quarantine, they may not attend classes in person or be in places where others are present unless it is an emergency or to seek medical care. When a student goes into Q/I, Student Health will send an electronic letter that students can send to their professors regarding class attendance. No medical information about the reason for the absence will be provided, unless the student specifically asks that Student Health Service share this information. It is the student’s responsibility to reach out to their professors, Student Health will not be in contact with faculty regarding your absence.
Informing the Office of Academic Advising of a student’s need for absence or assistance is not a new process implemented in response to COVID-19, and OAA and professors are accustomed to receiving such communications.