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FAQ2021-08-02T10:12:19-07:00
Whom do I contact in a medical emergency?2021-01-27T01:57:51-08:00

If you feel you are having a medical emergency,

On-campus students: immediately call Campus Safety at 909-607-2000 (x72000) or dial 911

Off-campus/local students: call 911 immediately

Faculty/staff: immediately call Campus Safety at 909-607-2000 (x72000) or dial 911

What are some emergency warning signs of a COVID-19 infection?2021-01-27T02:02:06-08:00

Some of the emergency warning signs* for COVID-19 are listed below. If someone is showing any of these signs, they should seek emergency medical care immediately

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not inclusive of all the possible emergency symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

How can I reduce my risk of exposure to COVID-19?2021-01-27T02:03:08-08:00

Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected. That’s why it’s important for everyone to practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from other people) and wear cloth face coverings in public settings. Cloth face coverings provide an extra layer to help prevent the respiratory droplets from traveling in the air and onto other people.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?2021-01-27T02:03:18-08:00

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Please note that this list does not include all possible COVID-19 symptoms.

What is COVID-19?2021-01-27T02:03:24-08:00

On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.

There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe? 2021-01-27T02:03:45-08:00

Yes. There are many strict protections in place and steps taken during vaccine development to ensure that any vaccine authorized for use is proven to be safe and effective. Vaccine developers are required to go through a rigorous, multi-stage process including large (phase III) trials that involve tens of thousands of participants. After the clinical trials show that the vaccine is safe and effective, a series of independent reviews and evidence are required to demonstrate efficacy and safety. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for making sure that FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. 

Does the COVID-19 vaccine affect fertility?2021-02-05T23:56:55-08:00

The myth that COVID-19 affects fertility first showed up on social media, when a fake report stated that the coronavirus spike protein was identical to another spike protein known as “syncitin-1,” which plays a key role in placental growth and attachment in the early stages of pregnancy. According to the fake report, the COVID-19 vaccine would teach a woman’s immune system not only to fight off the coronavirus, but also syncitin-1, causing problems with fertility.

In reality, the two spike proteins are completely different—they just happen to look somewhat similar in appearance. The COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t cause a woman’s body to reject the syncitin-1 protein; in fact, if this were true, then most women would already be infertile, as the common cold virus also has a very similar spike protein structure.

The COVID-19 vaccine was developed very quickly. How do we know it is safe and effective?2021-02-05T23:57:25-08:00

While it’s true that the COVID-19 vaccine was developed quickly, it does have enough safety and efficacy data to be trustworthy. Here’s why these companies were able to make life-saving COVID-19 vaccines so quickly:

  • Both Moderna and Pfizer used a method of vaccine creation that has been in development for several years, enabling both companies to start working on their vaccines early on in the pandemic.
  • Researchers did not skip any safety or testing steps; rather, they worked on more than one step at a time to enable them to gather the necessary information more quickly.
  • The first two vaccines to hit the market were developed using messenger RNA, or mRNA—a cutting-edge approach that is much faster than more old-fashioned ways of making vaccines.
  • Unlike less-common diseases, COVID-19 is very contagious and very widespread, so it only took a few months collect enough data to learn that the vaccines were effective.
Do I have to quarantine if I fly into California?  2021-08-02T09:42:39-07:00

Possibly. At this time, the State of California as well as Los Angeles County are aligning with and following CDC recommendations for domestic and international travel.

I have symptoms/I was exposed to someone with COVID-19. What should I do?2021-08-02T09:44:08-07:00

First thing to do is immediately quarantine yourself. Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home and separate themselves from others. Quarantine usually lasts at least 10 days from your last contact with a person who has COVID-19, even if you test negative for COVID-19 during quarantine. You should not leave quarantine until you have been released from quarantine by your healthcare provider. Please see these guidelines for quarantining.

After quarantining yourself, you should contact a healthcare provider for further advice:

On-campus/local students: please contact Student Health Services (SHS) at 909-621-8222 (x18222). Our healthcare professionals will help you determine the next steps in your evaluation and treatment. Outside of SHS business hours, please use the 7C.Health Telehealth Service for a virtual visit or contact Campus Security at 909-607-2000 (x72000) for assistance. We will also help you get connected with the appropriate resources to coordinate academic and residential life.

Off-campus students: Please use the 7C.Health Telehealth service for a virtual visit or contact your local primary care physician for further guidance. Secondly, please contact your Dean of Students so they can provide the appropriate academic resources for you.

Faculty/staff: Please contact your primary care physician for further guidance. Also, inform your supervisor or human resources (HR) department so they can discuss appropriate resources available to you.

Can I get COVID-19 testing on campus?2021-08-02T09:48:37-07:00

Yes, Student Health Services (SHS) will have on-site testing capacity for COVID-19 testing. However, availability of test kits may be affected at any time during the school year, depending on supply chain issues from our vendors. If one of our healthcare providers determines that you need to be tested for COVID-19, they will advise you of the available testing options at that time. Presently, there is NO CHARGE to students for COVID-19 testing at SHS.

Contact Student Health Services (SHS) at 909-621-8222 (x18222).

Faculty and staff should contact their personal health care provider for testing. Testing options and details are also available here:  https://covid19.ca.gov/testing-and-treatment/

Does the COVID-19 vaccine alter your DNA?2021-08-02T09:49:30-07:00

No. The mRNA in the first two COVID-19 vaccines does not go into the nucleus of your cells (where your DNA is located). All the mRNA does is stimulate your cells to make copies of a certain protein to help your immune system, and then it breaks down and is eliminated from your body. It does not affect your DNA in any way.

Does the COVID-19 vaccine give you COVID-19?2021-08-02T09:49:59-07:00

No. The COVID-19 vaccine does not (and simply cannot) give anyone COVID-19, as it does not contain the virus at all. The mRNA vaccine works by encouraging your own cells to make copies of a special protein that is contained in the coronavirus. This helps your immune system recognize the real virus—and fight it off—if it ever enters your body. The protein is not a virus, and does not cause any type of infection.

Will the vaccine cause adverse reaction or side effects? 2021-08-02T09:55:10-07:00

There is a potential for injection site reactions (redness, swelling, and pain) as well as fever, fatigue, headache, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, and/or joint pain. Similar adverse reactions are commonly seen with other vaccines as well. To ensure the vaccine is effective, it is important that you receive the second dose (for a two-dose vaccine series such as Pfizer & Moderna) even if you experience side effects after the first dose.

Where can I get more information about COVID-19?2021-08-02T10:17:05-07:00
When should I get tested?2022-01-18T11:46:48-08:00

You should get tested if:

  • you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19,
  • you are notified that you have been a close contact of a known COVID-19 case,
    • OR
  • your campus/employer is requiring it.
Where can I get tested?2022-01-18T11:48:37-08:00

You can find the SHS testing sites listed here. However, please note that some campuses require you to seek authorization before testing at SHS. Also, some campuses use other providers for their testing instead of SHS. Please refer to the testing matrix to determine if you need to go to a different location or seek authorization before going to a SHS testing site.

When will I get my results?2022-01-18T11:49:03-08:00

You should expect to receive your results within 24 hours. You should receive a notification on your campus email account as well as a text message notification if you have provided us with your US-based cell phone number. If you have not received a notification of your results within 24 hours, please go back to the testing site and ask to speak with a supervisor regarding a missing test result and to verify your contact information.

Do I need to log in to the portal to check my test result every time? Can’t I just assume if I haven’t received a phone call, everything is fine?2022-01-18T11:49:46-08:00

It is the student’s/employee’s responsibility to log in and check their result every time they take a test. It is also their responsibility to speak with a testing supervisor if they haven’t received their results within 24 hours. There are no automatic phone calls for positive results, so you cannot assume that your test result was normal if you don’t receive a phone call.

Is the saliva test at SHS a PCR test?2022-01-18T11:50:13-08:00

Yes, the saliva test is indeed a PCR test.

If I test positive, what should I do?2022-01-18T11:50:40-08:00

If you test positive, please isolate yourself immediately. Employees should notify their supervisor and if the employee is on campus, they should leave campus immediately after letting their supervisor know. Students should isolate in their residence and reach out to their dean on-call.

Your positive test result also comes with these instructions, along with instructions on how to complete a contact tracing case intake questionnaire. Compliance with contact tracing is a requirement of a student’s enrollment and an employee’s employment. This case intake questionnaire should be completed within 24 hours of your positive diagnosis. Failure to comply may result in sanctions from your campus/employer. If you are having any trouble completing this questionnaire, please call the contact tracing line at 909-607-9995 or speak with your dean (students) or supervisor (employees).

If I test positive, can I go back to test again for confirmation?2022-01-18T11:51:31-08:00

No, repeat saliva PCR testing is not allowed after a positive result. Repeat testing within 90 days of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis may lead to sanctions from your campus/employer. Repeat test orders may also be cancelled and not processed by the lab.

Do I really have to isolate if I have a positive COVID-19 test result?2022-01-18T11:55:31-08:00

Yes, according to Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, you are legally required to isolate after receiving a positive COVID-19 test result.

Will someone reach out to me for contact tracing if I test positive?2022-01-18T11:56:42-08:00

Your positive test result also comes with instructions on how to complete a contact tracing case intake questionnaire. Compliance with contact tracing is a requirement of a student’s enrollment and an employee’s employment. This case intake questionnaire should be completed within 24 hours of your positive diagnosis. Failure to comply may result in sanctions from your campus/employer. If you are having any trouble completing this questionnaire, please call the contact tracing line at 909-607-9995 or speak with your dean (students) or supervisor (employees) for assistance.

When should I start regular testing again after a positive COVID-19 test result? Am I exempt from regular testing for some period of time?2022-01-18T13:56:20-08:00

After a lab confirmed positive COVID-19 test result, you should not participate in routine asymptomatic screening tests (e.g., weekly testing) for a period of 90 (ninety) days. Public health data shows that individuals may continue to test positive with PCR tests on and off for up to that time even though they are no longer infectious/contagious. If you develop new symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 within this time period, please seek medical guidance (SHS, 7C.Health, primary care provider) to ask if a one-time repeat test would be of diagnostic value to the clinician. Please note that only lab confirmed positive results will exempt you from SHS testing for ninety days. At home testing will not be automatically accepted for this exemption.

Will a COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot cause my test to turn positive?2022-01-18T13:59:12-08:00

No. COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, will not affect your viral test result in any way. If you test positive after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine or booster, it is considered a true positive.

What if my positive test was not done at SHS? Will I still be required to isolate? Will I still be exempt from SHS testing for ninety days?2022-01-18T14:06:46-08:00

If you receive a positive test result from an outside testing location, you are still legally required to isolate. You should inform your on-call dean (students) or supervisor (employees) as soon as you receive your positive test result. You should also inform the SHS contact tracing team* by email: contact.tracers@claremont.edu. Please attach a copy of your positive lab report to the email. After the SHS contact tracing team has completed your case intake, you will be provided a ninety-day testing exemption from the date of your positive lab test. If you develop new symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 within this time period, please seek medical guidance (SHS, 7C.Health, primary care provider) to ask if a one-time repeat test would be of diagnostic value to the clinician.

*CMC students and CMC/Pomona/Pitzer employees should reach out to their Hamilton Health Box instead of SHS contact tracing. Scripps Employees should reach out to HITL instead of SHS contact tracing

What if I test positive using an at-home test and didn’t go to a testing location? Will I still be required to isolate? Will I still be exempt from SHS testing for ninety days?2022-01-18T14:07:05-08:00

If you test positive using an at-home test, you are still required to isolate. Please inform your on-call dean (students) or supervisor (employees) as soon as possible. You should also inform the SHS contact tracing team* by email: contact.tracers@claremont.edu. However, please note that only lab confirmed positive results will exempt you from SHS saliva PCR testing for ninety days. At home testing will not be automatically accepted for this exemption. Once you have recovered and been released from isolation, you should resume the saliva PCR testing. If you test positive on the saliva PCR test, it will confirm the previous at-home test result and the SHS contact tracing team will provide you a testing exemption starting ninety days from your at-home test date. You will not be required to isolate again if we were aware of your at-home test result prior to your saliva PCR test. If you test negative on the saliva PCR test, please continue weekly (or as specified by your campus) testing.

*CMC students and CMC/Pomona/Pitzer employees should reach out to their Hamilton Health Box instead of SHS contact tracing. Scripps Employees should reach out to HITL instead of SHS contact tracing

What are variants?2022-01-18T14:26:34-08:00

Many viruses frequently change through mutation. These mutations add up and create slightly different versions of the virus, called “variants.” Sometimes new variants appear and then disappear. Other times, new variants stay around. They are called variants of concern if there is evidence that they spread more easily, cause more serious illness, are harder to detect, treat or prevent with vaccines. Scientists continue to study and track these variants as they evolve.

Many variants of COVID-19 have emerged in the United States. At this point, the original version of the virus that was spreading in January 2020 is no longer circulating.

LACDPH Variants FAQ Document

I heard that you can now test out of isolation after 5 days. Does this mean I should come back for another saliva test in 5 days?2022-01-18T14:34:21-08:00

Please DO NOT go back to the saliva testing site to test out of isolation. While it is true that there is an option to test out of isolation after 5 days (if you meet certain criteria), the test utilized for this purpose is a rapid antigen test, not the saliva PCR test. SHS has set up a separate rapid antigen testing site in the parking lot south of the Tranquada Building. After you have completed your contact tracing case intake questionnaire, the contact tracing team will reach back out to you and let you know when you will become eligible to schedule an antigen test. Antigen testing for isolation release will be by APPOINTMENT ONLY. No walk-ups will be accommodated and anyone walking up without an appointment for antigen isolation release will be considered in violation of their isolation order.

What if my rapid antigen test after Day 5 is positive?2022-01-18T14:34:43-08:00

If your Day 6 or later rapid antigen test is positive, you must complete your isolation for the full 10 days. No repeat antigen testing appointments will be made. Contact tracers will reach out to you on Day 11 to see if you have met criteria for isolation release. Day 11 release does not require a negative test.

Is SHS providing booster shots?2022-01-19T16:13:09-08:00

Yes, SHS will be holding booster vaccine clinics for our students, faculty and staff during the Spring semester. Current plan is to hold these clinics on January 27 and January 28. Additional dates may be added if there is continued strong demand. Details and links to sign up will be shared. However, everyone is encouraged to get their booster vaccine as soon as possible.

When are students required to wear masks and what type of masks?2022-01-19T16:14:10-08:00

Please refer to your campus’s policy for specific details at your campus. However, in general, students, staff and faculty at the 7Cs are required to wear upgraded masking (medical/surgical masks, or higher level respirators such as N95/KN95/KF94) at all times indoors when they are around others, with the exception of eating, bathing or sleeping. With the Omicron surge, it is also recommended that you wear these masks at all times while outdoors as well. Additionally, anyone who has been released from isolation between Day 6 and Day 11 based on a negative antigen test is required to wear an upgraded mask at all times, even while outdoors. Cloth face coverings are no longer acceptable as the sole form of masking. However, cloth face masks can be used as part of double-masking when combined with an upgraded mask as noted above.

Where can I get an antigen test?2022-01-19T16:14:51-08:00

Antigen testing is offered to those who meet certain criteria during their isolation after receiving a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Antigen testing may also be performed during a visit with a SHS provider if they suspect your symptoms may be due to COVID-19. SHS does not provide any at-home antigen test kits.

How is TCC encouraging members of campus to be respectful of an individual’s choice to wear a mask?2022-05-16T08:47:43-07:00

TCC supports the personal choice to wear a mask as an effective strategy for individuals seeking to protect themselves and their colleagues from COVID-19. We encourage anyone who wishes to wear a mask to do so and will continue to have KN95 masks available for pickup around campuses.

We recognize that some people may not be ready to stop wearing masks while others are eager to do so. Please continue to be compassionate and respectful of personal decisions regarding masking that fall within TCC’s regulations. Masks remain required in SHS, MCAPS, and The Claremont Colleges Library.

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