What steps should I take if I am experiencing symptoms?
Even if you are fully vaccinated, 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?
There is no specific antiviral treatment approved for the treatment of COVID-19. People with COVID-19 receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.
- All Lehigh students who are experiencing symptoms (including those who are vaccinated) should contact the Health and Wellness Center (HWC) at 610-758-3870 and can be tested. Results from tests completed at the HWC are usually available within an hour. There may be cases where the HWC refers you to a partner clinic to be tested, where turnaround times may vary.
- ***All positive test results, including those received from any outside testing location, must be reported to the university by uploading it to the Patient Portal.***
- Please be aware that diagnostic testing for symptomatic students and testing for close contacts (those who came in contact with someone who tested positive) for students seen at the HWC is billed to student insurance. The cost of this testing is not covered by the University. Students are required and responsible for uploading their health insurance information to the HWC on the HWC patient portal at the start of the year. Please check to ensure this has been completed. Students/primary cardholders will be billed without insurance information available.
- Supplemental to the Health and Wellness Center, Lehigh students have access to the Lehigh Valley Health Network 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. Again, 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.
- Close Contact testing- Students who have been notified that they are a close contact of someone who tested positive will receive a communication from the HWC as part of the contact tracing process with instructions for obtaining close contact testing. Students who have not received a communication that they have been identified as a close contact, but who believe they are a close contact of someone who tested positive for the virus and are not experiencing significant symptoms, may sign up for close contact testing through the HWC here.
Read more about the different COVID-19 tests utilized by Lehigh.
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 complete an 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 follow up with you, along with the HWC, until you recover. Read more about Lehigh's contact tracing protocol.