Cold, flu and COVID updates and reminders

Contact: Don Thomson

While flu cases have dropped sharply, COVID and other viruses continue to circulate nationally.

Here are a few tips and reminders as we continue to navigate cold and flu season, as well as COVID.

Stay home if you are sick

The most important thing you can do if you are sick is to stay home. Most people with COVID have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home or other places of isolation, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas and do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask.

Anyone testing positive for COVID should isolate

The current CDC guidance states that anyone with COVID-19 should isolate from other people for at least five full days, though this may be longer if symptoms continue, and wear a mask for an additional five days. Willamette does not require a negative COVID test to return to classes or work.

You do not need to quarantine if exposed

In light of higher immunity levels, and to limit social and economic impacts, the CDC and OHA no longer recommend quarantine for people who are identified as a close contact to someone who tests positive for COVID, regardless of vaccination status. If you have had a recent confirmed or suspected exposure to an infected person, you should wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days around others when indoors in public and should test at least five days after exposure (or sooner, if you are symptomatic).

Have an adequate supply of home testing kits available

The CDC recommends testing if you have symptoms of COVID or at least five days after known or suspected close contact to COVID-19. We strongly encourage everyone to have an ample supply of at-home rapid tests on hand to use for both of these purposes. All pharmacies and most grocery stores should have an ample supply of home test kits available. Bishop Wellness Center also has home tests available to students for $10, which will be billed to the student's account.

Remember, doing simple things like washing your hands and staying home and away from others when sick work to prevent not just the spread of COVID but also other serious diseases.

We thank you for your commitment to the health and wellness of our community.

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