Message to Students from Health Services
September 25, 2020 (Updated October 8, 2020)
We understand that there may be some confusion surrounding the process for quarantine and isolation related to COVID-19, so the Office of Counseling, Disability and Health Services is taking this opportunity to provide some clarification and explanation. Please see the FAQs below for answers to some of the common questions Seton Hill staff members have been receiving.
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How can I receive a COVID-19 test?
A: Students who want to be tested for COVID-19 should contact Health Services who will determine the need for testing and direct the student on next steps. Students can be tested on campus through Health Services.
Q: What happens when Seton Hill is notified that someone has symptoms of COVID-19?
A: Individuals who present with COVID-19 symptoms are tested on campus with a rapid COVID-19 test. If that test is negative and the person is symptomatic, it is followed by a PCR test that is sent to the lab for analysis, which will take approximately 3-5 days for results. While someone is waiting for their test results they will be required to isolate. Your faculty members will receive a message from Health Services indicating that you are not permitted to attend face-to-face classes. You should reach out to your faculty members to arrange for remote learning during this time.
Individuals who are symptomatic and test with an off-campus medical provider must alert Health Services and provide evidence of testing. Students will also be required to provide evidence of test results when they are available. Students who test off-campus are required to isolate while awaiting test results as well. Your faculty members will receive a message from Health Services indicating that you are not permitted to attend face-to-face classes. You should reach out to your faculty members to arrange for remote learning during this time.
Close contacts of individuals awaiting test results - including roommates, girlfriends/boyfriends, lunch mates, car mates, athletes who have been practicing - will be required to quarantine until negative results are received for the symptomatic individual. They will be contacted by the Contact Tracing Team and given specific instructions.
Q: What happens when Seton Hill is notified that someone has tested positive for COVID-19?
A: Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate for 10 days from their date of testing, have a reduction of symptoms (if symptomatic) and be fever free for 24 hours without medication. A thorough interview will be conducted by the nursing staff to determine contacts who will be required to quarantine for 14 days and will be assigned a contact tracer who will stay in touch with them throughout the quarantine period. The results are then added to the University dashboard.
Q: What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?
A: Quarantine separates people who were exposed to COVID-19 but do not have symptoms to see if they become symptomatic. A person can be contagious before symptoms begin, so quarantine is critical to prevent the spread. During quarantine, students cannot attend face-to-face classes or participate in campus activities. Resident students should severely limit travel outside of their room to that which is absolutely necessary and must be masked.
Isolation separates people with symptoms of COVID-19, with or without a positive test. Those in isolation should stay home and away from others who share your residence. While in isolation if you are on campus, meals will be delivered to you and you will be assigned a bathroom for your use. Health Services staff will be in touch on a regular basis to check on your symptoms and assess your health.
Q: What happens if I’m identified as a contact of someone who is awaiting COVID-19 test results?
A: If you have been identified as a contact of someone who is awaiting COVID-19 test results, you will be required to quarantine at least while the results are pending. A member of the Contact Tracing team assigned to you will be in touch to explain your options for quarantine and answer any questions. Your faculty members will receive a message from Health Services indicating that you are not permitted to attend face-to-face classes. You should reach out to your faculty members to arrange for remote learning during this time.
If your contact tests negative for COVID-19, you will be released from quarantine. Test results typically take three to five days. If your contact tests positive, you will need to remain in quarantine for 14 days from your last contact with that individual.
Q: What happens if I’m identified as a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
A: If you have been identified as a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will be required to quarantine for 14 days from your last known contact with that individual.
Per new CDC guidelines issued by the CDC on September 18, you will be tested for COVID-19 as a contact of a positive individual. If you test negative, you will still be required to quarantine for 14 days from the last contact with the positive individual. If you test positive, you will be required to isolate for 10 days and must be cleared by medical personnel. You may also need to complete your initial quarantine after your isolation period as determined by Health Services.
Your faculty members will receive a message from Health Services indicating that you are not permitted to attend face-to-face classes. You should reach out to your faculty members to arrange for remote learning during this time.
Q: Why does quarantine last 14 days and isolation last only 10?
A: The extra 4 days of quarantine account for a period in which an individual may be contagious but has not exhibited symptoms or may not test positive.
Q: I live on the same floor or I am in class with someone who tested positive, why have I not been identified as a contact?
A: Health Services staff will ask detailed questions about the activities of an individual who tests positive or is presumed positive for COVID-19. They will go back 48 hours prior to the individual becoming symptomatic (or testing positive in case they were asymptomatic) to determine who they came into contact with during that time. Sitting in a classroom with someone while masked and maintaining physical distance or living on the same floor with someone who has tested positive is not considered contact for contact tracing purposes. Typically, individuals who have been within six feet of a positive individual for more than 15 minutes would be considered contacts.
Q: How many positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified among the Seton Hill community?
A: The Seton Hill University COVID-19 Daily Dashboard provides campus community members with important information and updates during the pandemic, including numbers of cases or suspected cases on campus, information on the COVID-19 situation in Westmoreland County, as well as changes to the Return to Campus plan and important reminders.
The Seton Hill University COVID-19 Daily Dashboard is updated every weekday at noon and can be found here. It is important to note that if a positive result comes in after 12 noon the dashboard will reflect that the following day.
Q: Why can’t I know the names of the people who tested positive for COVID-19?
A: HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is a health privacy law that restricts what personal health information can be shared without an individual’s consent.
Q: If I am a resident student and have to move to an isolation space, what can I expect, and what should I bring with me?
A: You will initially be contacted by Health Services to let you know that you will need to isolate. You will first be provided with the option to go home, but if you are unable to return home, a staff member from Student Affairs will be in contact with you by phone. The staff member will notify you of the isolation space to which you will be moving and inform you of what you should bring. Linens are provided in all isolation spaces, but we ask students to bring their own pillow. Additionally, pack enough clothes and toiletries for 14 days. Bring your computer, chargers and any other items that you will need for your classes and feel free to bring drinks, snacks or other entertainment items. Meals will be provided by Dining Services every day using contactless delivery. You will also be provided with a phone number in order to reach a staff person 24-hours per day. Health Services will make contact with you 1 - 2 times per day to check in and monitor your symptoms.
Q: Why did my roommate have to move to isolation, but I did not?
A: Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is symptomatic for COVID-19 and awaiting results will be required to isolate. If this applies to your roommate but not to you, you would not be required to isolate yourself. You may, however, be required to quarantine.
Q: Why does my roommate have to quarantine, but I do not?
A: Only “close contacts” of COVID-19 positive individuals and presumptive positive close contacts, as defined by SHU, are required to quarantine. If you are a contact of a close contact, you will not need to quarantine.
Q: If a resident student has to quarantine and/or isolate where are they placed (what are their options)?
A: Resident students are placed into isolation spaces in empty rooms on campus, and/or downtown in the Welty House, or in the Marian House on the campus of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill.
If you have any other questions or would like additional clarification, please contact Health Services, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Rosalie Carpenter, Vice President for Student Affairs, email@example.com. Thank you Setonians!