What is the university’s approach to testing for COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff?
University Health Services will have the capacity to test for students, faculty and staff who are symptomatic or those who are exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19. The University will also offer free asymptomatic (i.e., without symptoms) COVID-19 testing for faculty, staff, and students on campus. This testing and data collection will serve as the university’s Sentinel Testing Program (which involves asymptomatic testing of our population) and will add to the current protections to keep our community safe. Invitations to register for an appointment time will be sent weekly. Use the UM Daily Symptom Checker to monitor for symptoms related to COVID-19.
Where can I get tested in Oxford?
What do I do if I have been tested for COVID-19 and I am waiting results?
According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, while waiting for the results of your test, isolate yourself and take the following steps to monitor your health and avoid spreading the disease to others:
If you have symptoms of COVID-19:
- While waiting for the results of your test, isolate yourself and your household contacts should stay at home. (If household contacts are healthcare workers, they are encouraged to contact their employer. They may still be allowed to work while wearing a mask).
- Stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home to the extent possible. Use a separate bathroom, if available. Household members can consider staying in a separate location, if available, to decrease their risk of exposure.
- For more information, see the CDC’s guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19 at home.
- If you must leave home, such as to seek medical care, wear a surgical mask if available.
- If your results are positive, you will need to isolate for 14 days from the time your symptoms started.
If I test positive for COVID-19 during the fall semester, what will I be expected to do?
Any student, faculty or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 should isolate and notify University Health Services as soon as possible. For Employee Health, call (662) 915-6550 and for Student Health, call (662) 915-7274.
You can also report a positive test result through the Everbridge app. Either method of reporting will alert University Health Services.
University Health Services will provide guidance involving isolation and care at home. You will be asked to identify any persons in our university community with whom you have had contact with recently before the onset of symptoms and any areas of campus you visited during that time. Faculty and staff will need to contact their supervisor and students should inform their professors to allow for accommodations if necessary. University Health Services will collaborate with the Mississippi Department of Health for contact tracing.
What should I do if one of my roommates tests positive?
Since you would be a close contact to a confirmed positive case, you should quarantine for 14 days from the date of the last exposure to the person who tested positive. Contact tracing efforts related to positive cases are conducted by the Mississippi State Department of Health, supported by UM, and you may be contacted as part of these efforts.
- For health guidance, you should contact University Health Services (Student Health, 662-915-7274) or your healthcare provider.
- If you are an on-campus resident, contact Student Housing (662-915-7328) to discuss quarantine options.
- Contact your instructors to let them know that you are sick, quarantined, or have some other health-related absence.
What is the difference between quarantine and self-isolation?
Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others and monitor their health for 14 days from the date of the last exposure to a person who tested positive.
Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19, with or without symptoms) from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others as dictated by a healthcare provider. Please see these CDC guidelines to determine when it would be safe for someone in isolation to resume contact with others. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom, if available.
What if I need help after hours?
Baptist Memorial Hospital, North Mississippi 24-hour hotline: (866) 941-4785
Baptist Memorial Hospital, North Mississippi: (662) 636-1000
Mississippi Coronavirus Hotline, seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.: (877) 978-6453
Urgent Care: There are several clinics with extended hour options in Oxford. See a list of urgent care clinics here.
How do I know if I’m wearing my mask correctly?
The CDC recommends that people wear masks in public and when around people who don’t live in the same household. Wear a mask to protect others and follow this guidance:
- Wash your hands before putting on your mask
- Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
- Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
- Make sure you can breathe easily
- Don’t put the mask around your neck or up on your forehead
- Don’t touch the mask, and, if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to disinfect
Are masks with exhalation valves or vents recommended?
The CDC does not recommend using masks if they have an exhalation valve or vent. The purpose of masks is to keep respiratory droplets from reaching others to aid with source control. Masks with one-way valves or vents allow exhaled air to be expelled out through holes in the material. This can allow exhaled respiratory droplets to reach others and potentially spread the COVID-19 virus.