Frequently Asked Questions

Should I seek medical care?

If you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention—particularly if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. Contact your healthcare provider before you go to tell them about your symptoms and recent travel history.

If you are sick, you can use virtual care options to seek medical treatment without exposing others to illness.

How is COVID-19 spread?

There is still much to learn about how this novel coronavirus is spread. It is thought to spread between people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet), and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected coughs or sneezes.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are 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 and diarrhea. It is important to remember that these symptoms are common in many illnesses. 

Are there any preventative products?

At this time there are no vaccines, cures, or preventative products for COVID-19.

Should I be wearing a face mask?

Wearing a cloth face covering is a voluntary public health measure if you must go out in public, but it should not lead to a false sense of security.

Facial covering is only part of a toolkit—washing hands, practicing respiratory etiquette, and most importantly, staying at home as much as possible is all of vital importance.

The use of a cloth face covering may slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it, from transmitting it to others. It is important that the face coverings are used properly and that physical distancing and handwashing guidelines are still followed.

We recommend wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. You can find information on how to make a proper cloth face covering here:

It should also be noted that care must be taken to avoid potential spread of illness by unintended means, such as leaving a covering out after use or failing to wear a covering properly&emdash;which includes keeping it on.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.

What does isolation mean? What does quarantine mean?

Isolation and quarantine are both used to protect the public by preventing exposure to people who are sick or who may be sick.

  • "Isolation" refers to separating a sick person from others.
  • "Quarantine" refers to separating people who are not sick, but may have been exposed to an illness, from others.

You can read more about the distinction between these terms here.

What about international students?

Nationality is not a risk factor for COVID-19. An individual is only considered at risk for this illness if they or a very close contact have recently traveled to an area impacted by COVID-19, regardless of race.