If You Become Sick

If you suspect you are sick:  

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms you should get tested with a reliable PCR test as soon as possible.

COVID-19 Tests for Student

  • Contact the Health and Wellness Center
  • Or get tested at a local County testing site to obtain a PCR test.

COVID-19 Tests for Staff & Faculty

 

If you have been identified as a close contact of a positive case or someone in your household tests positive: 

Close Contacts are determined through Proximity and Duration of Exposure: Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes)An infected person can spread SARS-CoV-2 starting from 2 days before they have any symptoms (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days before the positive specimen collection date), until they meet criteria for discontinuing home isolation. Close contacts will only need to quarantine themselves if  they if they are not fully vaccinated and not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. 

 

What to do if you are VACCINATED:

People who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless you develop symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative. Note that masking indoors is currently required in Contra Costa County for all individuals.

If you do not need to quarantine, you may attend classes in person while wearing a mask and social distancing whenever possible.  

 

What to do if you are UNVACCINATED:

Unvaccinated people need to quarantine immediately if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19. Contact your healthcare provider or a local County testing site to be tested with a reliable PCR test as soon as possible. 

  • Stay home for 10 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.

  • Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.

  • If you develop symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your local public health authority or healthcare provider. Students can also contact the Health and Wellness Center at (925) 631-4254.

  • If possible, stay away from people you live with, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

  • Contact their healthcare provider or a local County testing site to be tested.

If you do need to quarantine we encourage you to work with Student Disabilities Services (SDS) on temporary learning accomodations and  follow up with your academic advisor, success coach, and professors to communicate clearly about how you will continue to make academic progress. You may be required to fulfill class assignments and other responsibilities as assigned. Please remember that it is your responsibility to work with your teachers on completing class requirements. 

 

If you receive a positive test result: 

If you have experienced a positive test result, complete this form. Anyone in our community  who tests positive will be required to isolate for at least 10 days. Students who live on campus will be contacted by the Residential CARE Team and provided guidance on isolation on campus or at home. 

Students who test positive through the Health and Wellness Center, will be contacted by the H&WC team and then the Contact Tracing team. 

The Contact Tracing Team will contact you within 24 hours to offer information on resources in coordination with the local health department, identify individuals you may have come into close contact with in the campus community, and allow SMC to clean campus areas you visited as appropriate. 

Please do not attempt to conduct your own informal contact tracing process or presume that others will necessarily be deemed close contacts. We have trained Contact Tracing Staff at SMC that will do this work. 

Close contacts will be notified by members of the Contact Tracing team. Close Contacts are determined through Proximity and Duration of Exposure: Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes)An infected person can spread SARS-CoV-2 starting from 2 days before they have any symptoms (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days before the positive specimen collection date), until they meet criteria for discontinuing home isolation. Close contacts will only need to quarantine themselves if  they if they are not fully vaccinated and not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. 

If you do need to isolate and are feeling well or have been cleared by your healthcare provider to do so, we encourage you to work with Student Disabilities Services (SDS) on temporary learning accomodations and  follow up with your academic advisor, success coach, and professors to communicate clearly about how you will continue to make academic progress. You may be required to fulfill class assignments and other responsibilities as assigned. Please remember that it is your responsibility to work with your teachers on completing class requirements. 

 

Additional guidance for those who test positive (whether vaccinated or unvaccinated):

 

  1. If you do not have any symptoms, you should isolate for at least 10 days. 
  2. If you develop symptoms, you should contact the Health & Wellness Center or your healthcare provider as soon as possible and continue to isolate for at least 10 days after symptoms begin as long as symptoms have improved, and no fever is present for at least 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications.
  3.  Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  4. Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible.
  5. Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  6. Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
  7. Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
  8. Wear a mask when around other people if you are able.
  9. Following the recommended isolation period, and as long as you have no symptoms, you will be permitted back to campus. 

 

When Students and Employees Should Seek Emergency Care:

Know emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these 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 

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19 symptoms. This list is not all possible symptoms. Call your medical provider for any symptoms that are concerning to you. 

All students, staff, and faculty who report COVID-19 symptoms, who are exposed to COVID-19, or test positive for COVID-19 must follow the testing, contact tracing, and quarantine or isolation protocols established by Saint Mary’s College of California, Contra Costa County Health Services and the California Departments of Health.

*Emergency symptom list is taken from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020, May). Symptoms of Coronavirus. Accessed 10/27/2020.

 

Other Helpful Links: 

COVID-19 News & Resources (Saint Mary’s College)

For COVID-19 Patients and Contacts (Contra Costa Health Services)

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety: Facts & Myths (Contra Costa Health Services)