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COVID-19 Concerns? UHS is here to help

Updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Visit the University’s Novel Coronavirus Resources and Updates website for the latest information about COVID-19. The University’s site is provided to all University of Rochester community members as a reference on COVID-19 locally and as guidance on whom to contact with specific concerns about its impact here and abroad.

COVID-19 concerns? UHS is here to help.

The University Health Service (UHS) continues to closely monitor novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in collaboration with University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) physicians and the Monroe County Health Department. UR Medicine is fully prepared to respond to any COVID-19 cases that emerge in the University’s hospitals and clinical facilities, and the University’s Office of Emergency Preparedness has plans and protocols in place to address COVID-19.

We are committed to protecting the safety of our University community and our broader Rochester community, as well. The University has a legal responsibility to notify the campus community when something has occurred that raises safety or security concerns.

County health departments are responsible for contact tracing, which is the process of reaching out to individuals who have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The University does not do contact tracing. Generally, if you are not contacted, health officials have determined that you were not exposed to COVID-19 through an individual who has tested positive. However, everyone is encouraged to self-monitor for symptoms because the illness is so prevalent and to practice social distancing and hand hygiene.

CALL UHS BEFORE COMING TO THE OFFICE – 585-275-2662.

You can email your questions to UHS at uhscovid19@uhs.rochester.edu. This e-mail box has been set up to manage questions and correspondence related to COVID-19.

UHS Hours – Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020
Following Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order, the University Health Service will be on minimal staffing beginning Monday, March 23, 2020. Entrance to the UHS Building and UHS offices is limited to UHS staff and patients with scheduled appointments.

If you do not have a scheduled appointment,  call 585-275-2662 before coming into a UHS office. Whenever UHS offices are closed, a UHS physician is on-call and available for urgent concerns that cannot wait until the offices re-open. If you need medical assistance, call UHS at 585-275-2662.

  • UHS River Campus Office (UHS Building) – The office will be open weekdays from 8:00-5:00 with minimal staffing. Entrance to the UHS Building is limited to UHS staff and patients with scheduled appointments. Everyone else should call UHS at 585-275-2662 for assistance.
  • UHS Medical Center Office – The office will be open weekdays from 8:00-5:00 with minimal staffing. Entrance to UHS is limited to UHS staff and patients with scheduled appointments. Everyone else should call UHS at 585-275-2662 for assistance.
  • UHS Eastman School Office – During the week of March 30, this office will be open from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. Please call UHS at 585-274-1230 or 585-275-2662 before entering the office.
  • UHS Administrative Office (2nd Floor) – The UHS Administrative Offices are closed. Most staff members are working remotely. Please e-mail kmcneil@uhs.rochester.edu or call 585-275-7315 for assistance.
  • University Counseling Center (3rd Floor) – All UCC staff are working remotely to provide mental health support to students. Call 585-275-3113 for assistance.

Only UHS staff and patients with scheduled appointments will be allowed into the UHS Building. If someone accompanies you to UHS, they will be asked to wait outside of the building. We are taking this measure to assure the health and safety of our patients and our staff.

UHS is taking the following steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission and to maintain a safe environment for our patients:

  • Postponing physicals, preventive care visits, and non-essential follow-up visits.
  • Cancelling the HPV vaccine clinic that was scheduled for Sunday, March 29. (Note: Students will be notified when we are able to re-schedule their appointment.)
  • Implementing telemedicine appointments to provide care when appropriate by phone or through a video connection. Click here for information about telemedicine appointments.

Scheduling an appointment for a telemedicine appointment with a UHS health care provider is the same as calling to schedule an in-person appointment. Please call 585-275-2662 to schedule an appointment.

Need medical assistance? Contact your UHS health care provider through UHSConnect or you can call UHS at 585-275-2662. If you do not already have a UHSConnect account, email hhf@uhs.rochester.edu for assistance.

If you are experiencing the following symptoms, call 585-275-2662 before coming to UHS:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat

DO NOT come to UHS before calling. We need your help to keep our patients and staff members healthy and safe.

Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room: Call ahead and tell them about your recent travel, your symptoms, and/or potential exposure with someone with COVID-19.

  • Students and other UHS primary care patients: Call UHS at 585-275-2662 day or night. Whenever UHS offices are closed, a physician is on-call and available by phone for urgent concerns that cannot wait until the offices re-open.
  • Members of the University community who are not primary care patients at UHS: Please call your primary care physician for advice. If you do not have a primary care physician, you can call UHS at 585-275-2662 for advice.

Do not travel while sick. Please do not get on public transportation or just arrive at the University Health Service (UHS). You need to call before coming to UHS or any other health care facility. The number to call for UHS is 585-275-2662.

Follow social distancing guidelines. It is essential for us all to practice social distancing if we are to flatten the curve. We can all take actions to reduce our risk and the risk of those around us. What does this mean – it means we should stay home, avoid crowds, stay six feet apart from each other, and refrain from touching one another. Check the CDC website for resources, updates, and actions we can all take to reduce the risk of getting sick and the risk of spreading the illness. The CDC FAQs provide answers to questions about COVID-19.

Self-Quarantine and Isolation – What’s the Difference: Click on Self-Quarantine and Isolation – What’s the Difference to take a quick look at the differences between self-quarantine, which is for asymptomatic people who have been exposed to the infection, and isolation, which is for people who have or are suspected of having the infection. The chart provides the steps to follow for both categories. For more detail, click on the links below.

  • Instructions for Students Going into Isolation Housing Due to COVID-19:  Isolation is for people who have or are suspected of having COVID-19 (the illness caused by the novel coronavirus). To prevent these individuals from passing the infection to other people, they need to be in isolation in order to stay away from those who are not immune to it – which is almost everyone. When someone is in isolation, it means they will have to stay in separate housing until their symptoms have resolved, and they have had no fever for at least 72 hours. This will be at least 7 days after their symptoms began. If you need to be in isolation, click here for information about what you need to do to care for yourself and protect others.
  • Self-Quarantine – What It Means: This is a case where you will need to be under “self-quarantine” at the direction of a healthcare provider. The purpose of self-quarantine is to separate and prevent the movement of asymptomatic people who have been exposed to an infectious disease, in this case, COVID-19. If you are told to self-quarantine by your healthcare provider, click here for information about what you need to do. When you are told to self-quarantine, please take it seriously. It is essential that you follow the guidelines and the required time-frame to avoid spreading COVID-19 further.

Managing fears and anxiety about COVID-19: Check the University Counseling Center (UCC) website for links to pages to help you manage fears and anxiety about Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Tips for Staying Healthy: Everyone is encouraged to take the following steps to stay healthy:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol. (Recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Practice good cough and sneeze etiquette. Always cough and sneeze into a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve, completely covering your mouth and nose. Then, through your tissue away.
  • Stay hydrated and get plenty of rest.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. University Facilities and Services has increased cleaning and disinfecting in the residence halls to help prevent the spread of all illness-causing germs.

Virtual programming offered by the UHS Health Promotion Office: Check out the list of online programs especially for students (Mindful Yoga for Athletes, Zzzzs to As Online Sleep Challenge, EAT Mindfully Online Program, and Virtual Meditation: For Students, By Students) and online programs for students, staff, and faculty (21 Days of Mindful Relection and Koru Mindfulness: 4-Week Learn to Meditate Workshop). We hope you will join us online for one or more of these programs and workshops. For more resources, check UR Supported.

How dangerous is COVID-19? As with other respiratory illnesses, infection with COVID-19 can cause mild symptoms, including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. It can be more severe for some and lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. The elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions or compromised immune systems appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with Covid-19 and have a higher risk for it to be life-threatening. The March 18, 2020 MMWR report provides data about young adults that indicates COVID-19 is not necessarily a benign, self-limited illness for the young adult population. According to the MMWR, 29% of cases, 20% of hospitalized patients, and 12% of ICU patients with COVID-19 in this country in the last month were young adults.

Since this is a rapidly evolving situation, visit the University’s Coronavirus website for the latest information and updates from the University and the CDC website for the most current information about COVID-19.