General COVID-19 FAQ

From the Source
Learn about COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What is community spread and is it in Utah?

Community spread means people have been infected with the virus, and thier infection cannot be explained by travel or who they have close contact with. Visit the Utah Department of Health to get the latest on spread in Utah.

Is USU testing for COVID-19?

USU is not authorized to perform the test, and the test is only being administered to individuals within certain guidance from public health officials. Learn more about testing throughout the state.

I was tested for COVID-19. Should I tell USU?

If you have been tested for the virus, even if you are waiting for results or if the result was negative, please fill out the COVID-19 Questionnaire.

Will I know if someone at USU has COVID-19?

Because the result of a COVID-19 test is protected health information, the community will not know the identity of someone who has a confirmed case of the virus. The results of all COVID-19 tests are sent first to state health officials who then inform the local health district, who work with the individual to investigate direct contacts and ensure they self-isolate to prevent the spread of the disease. USU officials rely on individuals who receive positive tests to inform the university so we can work with them to accommodate their needs, and the needs of their close contacts, during self-isolation. With limited testing at this time, we should all practice social distancing, avoid gathering in groups, and stay home and away from others if ill.

I work with someone who went home sick. How do I know if they have COVID-19?

Anyone who is ill has a right to privacy. If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, the local health department will work with them to identify direct contacts and determine who else must self-isolate as a precautionary measure.

USU is asking anyone who is ill to stay home and away from others. This is important as individuals who contract COVID-19 are most contagious when they are symptomatic. Everyone in our community should practice prevention hygiene and social distancing to prevent the spread.

I feel anxious about COVID-19. What can I do?

It can be stressful to hear about the spread of a new virus. You can channel your concern into action to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Practice prevention hygiene, social distancing, and seek out resources to support your mental wellness.

Should I wear a facemask?

Public health agencies recommend the use of cloth face coverings when in public places (grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.). Learn more about how to make your own from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is currently a shortage of surgical masks and N95s, and these should be reserved for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

I recently traveled. Should I self-isolate?

If you have traveled internationally or to a state that has a major disaster declaration, you must stay home and self-isolate for 14 days upon your return. Please visit USU's travel information page to learn more about what steps you should take. 

Who should “self-isolate”?

Anyone who has recently travelled internationally or to a state that has a major disaster declaration or who has had contact (within 6 feet) with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, must self-isolate for 14 days. Please tell us if you are self-isoting by completing the COVID-19 Questionnaire.

How do we know that someone who was in self-isolation isn’t a threat to campus?

We greatly appreciate the cooperation of those asked to self-isolate and practice social distancing for 14 days. These individuals have agreed to do this in order to protect their fellow Aggies just in case they had contracted the illness. This is a big commitment. Those who are released from self-isolation either did not experience symptoms during the COVID-19 incubation period. Or, if they had, they would then been tested. If they tested positive, they would be provided with self-isolation guidance from the local health department. 

I want to get tested for COVID-19. Where can I go?

The local health department has advised that if you are experiencing symptoms that DO NOT need an extra level of care, please self isolate at home. Testing will not change the course of treatment for someone with mild symptoms. If you have more severe symptoms that requires care, please contact a telehealth provider or your primary care provider. Learn more testing on the If You are Sick webpage.

What is USU doing to keep the campus community informed?

Utah State will provide updates with new information about how the university is preventing the appearance of COVID-19 in our community. Updates requiring immediate action will be sent through USU's alert system. USU also has a website dedicated to keeping you updated about the disease and how we can all protect our community.

What if COVID-19 is found in Cache Valley or at USU?

Utah health officials announced the state’s first case of COVID-19 on March 6, 2020. (Only cases diagnosed in Utah are counted as Utah cases.) The Utah Department of Health reports that public health officials and health care providers are coordinating to identify and investigate potential cases. USU is working with those who identify as receiving a positive COVID-19 test to ensure they are supported academically or professionaly so they can recover quickly. On-campus students who test positive, or who may have COVID-19, are moved into isolation to prevent potential spread of the virus. 

Has USU been proactively reaching out to students returning to campus from affected regions?

USU asks those who have recently visited (within the last 14 days) a country for which CDC has issued a level three or level two travel warning to fill out a travel registration survey. This information helps us track risks. The CDC recommends that those who are returning from a country with a level three travel warning to self-isolate at home for 14 days. USU is following this guidance and working with students and employees affected to minimize disruptions to work and studies.