Questions, answers and response protocols related to COVID-19.
Read an update from Emmons Wellness Center Senior Director Sara Semal (3/23/20)
How does the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, spread?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus is thought to have originated from an animal but is now spreading from person to person. Coronaviruses, including this new one, are thought to spread via exposure to an infected person’s respiratory droplets—such as those produced when a person coughs or sneezes.
According to the CDC, there is more to learn about how this virus is transmitted but, in the meantime, everyday habits such as washing your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds can help prevent the spread of viruses.
Is there a vaccine to protect against COVID-19?
No. There is currently no vaccine to prevent the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. To read more about U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) tips on the best way to prevent exposure to this virus and others visit the CDC’s website. Additionally, the World Health Organization has developed an online course to provide general introduction to emerging respiratory viruses, including novel coronaviruses.
What is the best way to prevent infection with this virus?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend some simple steps to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based sanitizer;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands;
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
- Stay home when you are sick;
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash;
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Who is at risk for infection with the COVID-19?
Individuals who have recently been to areas with widespread transmission, such as China, Italy, and South Korea or who have possibly come in contact with an infected individual are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.
Older adults and individuals with serious chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease are at even higher risk of contracting the disease and suffering related medical complications from the disease. Individuals over 80 with these risk factors are at the highest risk.
What is the College doing to proactively address the situation?
The health and safety of the Oxy community is a top priority for the College. Oxy continues to work with local, state, and federal public health officials to monitor the situation and respond appropriately. Please rely on the resources below to learn more about COVID-19 and any updates on its spread.
At this time, Oxy is following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel advisory and recommends against all nonessential international travel. To check the current CDC travel recommendations visit the CDC website.
Additionally, the College is taking the following actions:
- Classes are moving to remote learning to reduce exposure in large groups.
- All public events over 25 people are cancelled.
- All student athletic and club events have been cancelled.
- Students have been asked to move out of residence halls by March 20, 2020. Students with extenuating circumstances can apply to remain on campus.
- Students visiting Emmons Wellness Center are being screened for recent international travel and will be asked about their health and travel history.
- Facilities staff have increased cleaning of high-touch surfaces and restrooms in college buildings, classrooms and housing.
Can I use my health insurance to get tested or receive treatment for COVID-19?
If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, you must go to an emergency room to be tested. The medical provider will assess you for risk factors and determine if testing for COVID-19 is required. All COVID-19 testing will either be covered by your insurance or the state, patients will not incur the cost of the COVID-19 testing or treatment.
On March 10, U.S. Insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare announced that they would cover the full cost of COVID-19 related testing and care, including waiving copays. The companies also said that there would not be surprise billing for costs associated with COVID-19. The major insurance companies also agreed to cover the costs of telemedicine and remote care.
As the testing is expanding, it is important to know that testing and treatment are available and cost will not be a barrier. That said, while there are more tests available in the US than there were a few weeks ago, labs still can only conduct a limited number of tests each day. So although there are more tests available, testing capacity is limited, therefore it important to know the risk factors for coronavirus before rushing to the hospital at the first sign of cold or flu symptoms.
Emmons Wellness Center Services
Student health insurance is a full service PPO plan that can be used by medical providers who are in network with united healthcare. Providers who do not accept United Health will accept UHCSR insurance at out-of-network rates.
Insurance can be utilized anywhere in the US. Internationally, insurance can be used via reimbursement for services. Patients must call the insurance company before they go to the doctor to authorize the visit (if possible), or soon after to make them aware of the visit and the upcoming reimbursement request. Patients must retain all medical documents and receipts for services.
Counseling services are available to all students during normal business hours, M-F 9-4. For an appointment with your provider, please email your counselor directly to set up a time to meet. For new intakes, please call the front desk at 323-259-2657.
Telehealth services are available during regular business hours for students who would like to continue seeing their provider while they are away from campus or those who would prefer to remain in their dorm for all activities. More information about telecounseling will be made available this week.
Crisis walk-ins will continue to be available daily from 3-4pm.
All groups, off-site drop-in hours and workshops are cancelled for the remainder of the semester.
Medical appointments and walk-ins will continue to be available M-F 9am-4pm. To make an appointment please call us at 323-259-2657.
Telehealth medical consultation will begin to be available on March 23 during regular business hours for students who would like to consult with a provider while they are away from campus.
Helpline - 24/7 telephonic medical and counseling triage available for all students and community members anywhere in the United States
During this time of transition and upheaval, Project SAFE Senior Manager and Survivor Advocate Marianne Frapwell reminds you that Project SAFE is still available as a resource. Find information on their site about individual advocacy support and prevention education resources.