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Coronavirus
(COVID-19)

Information Center

What If I Suspect I May Have COVID-19?

Last Updated: Nov. 18, 2020 at 3:10 pm

If you are experiencing symptoms you believe are in line with COVID-19, the following information provides guidance for you to consider. Students living on or off campus with symptoms, even if fully remote, should contact Our Lehigh University Health and Wellness Center immediately for recommendations for evaluation and testing.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Read up-to-date criteria on the CDC website for symptoms of COVID-19.

Symptoms include:

  • 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

Note: This list does not include all possible symptoms of COVID-19.

What steps should I take if I am experiencing symptoms?

If you believe you may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms you believe are in line with, COVID-19, please do not go to work or school and seek medical care. The Lehigh daily self-screening tool through the HawkWatch app will direct you to the appropriate considerations and advise you not to come to campus if you are experiencing symptoms or have other risk factors for having COVID-19 (such as a recent exposure to someone with COVID). Before you go to a clinic, doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead, tell them about your symptoms and follow guidance regarding an in-person visit. 

If you are experiencing any of the following emergency warning signs, 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

What treatment is available for COVID-19? Who can be tested at the Health and Wellness Center?

Treatment

There is no specific antiviral treatment approved for the treatment of COVID-19.  Currently there are treatments being evaluated for patients who have more severe illness. People with COVID-19 receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

Testing

All Lehigh students (living on campus or off campus, fully remote or not) who are experiencing symptoms should contact the Health and Wellness Center (610-758-3870) to discuss next steps. Students who are experiencing symptoms can be tested at the Health and Wellness Center. Results are usually available within an hour. There may be cases where the Health and Wellness Center refers you to a partner clinic to be tested.

Supplemental to the Health and Wellness Center, we have partnered with the Lehigh Valley Health Network to provide access to their 24/7 nurse triage line (1-888-402-LVHN). Speak with a nurse to assess COVID and other symptoms, answer your questions, and discuss your testing options. A video visit is also an option. For those who are tested at an alternate location, be aware that if you are not taking a rapid test, your results may take several days to be processed. If you receive a positive test from an outside source, be sure to let the Health and Wellness Center know and to upload your results on your health center portal.

Read more about our Surveillance Testing program for asymptomatic testing.

For students with symptoms potentially consistent with COVID-19:

  • After calling the Health and Wellness Center (HWC) for an appointment, you will be directed to come to HWC Johnson Hall for evaluation. Students should bring a packed bag and any important personal items with you in case you test positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting test results and are asked to immediately isolate.
  • Upon arrival at the HWC, all students will be asked to wait outside of the office and call the office to announce their arrival. A clinical staff member will greet you at the door, provide you a mask to wear and conduct a temperature scan. All staff will be wearing a procedure mask, eye protection (goggles or face shield) and gloves for every patient encounter. 
  • Students will be taken to an exam room for evaluation and COVID-19 testing. To the extent possible, everything that the student needs during the visit to the HWC will be done in the same exam room to prevent excess movement throughout the HWC.  
  • Currently, the HWC is doing nasopharyngeal swab specimen collections for COVID-19 testing. This involves the clinical staff person gently inserting a swab in the patient’s nose and directing it to the back of the nose and nasopharynx area. This swab may be in the nose for up to 30 seconds. It can feel irritating and may make you cough or sneeze. Currently, the Health and Wellness Center sends specimens to an outside clinical laboratory for processing.
  • While awaiting the results of the tests, you will be asked to write down all of your contacts in the 48 hours prior to the onset of your symptoms until the time of the test. In addition, you will be asked to self-isolate. This means that you will be asked to stay in your apartment or room and not go out for anything except urgent medical care. If you are living on campus, the HWC will assist with determining if you need to be relocated to on-campus isolation housing and the provisions for how you will receive care and support during the time you are isolating
  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, the student must self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days. See additional details from the CDC about when you can be around other people (end isolation). In addition, once you have tested positive, you will be contacted by the local public health entity. In the case of Lehigh University, this is the Bethlehem Health Bureau. The Bethlehem Health Bureau will be managing contact tracing and notification and they will follow up with you, along with the HWC, until you recover.