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How to Report Symptoms or Exposure

Information for the University community

Updated December 11, 2020

Find out what to do if you or a close contact have symptoms, are being tested, or test positive for COVID-19

Below is a checklist of steps to take. This guidance is consistent with the best available public health advice and applies to employees and students, with the exception of those who work at the Medical Center, for which there is separate guidance.


If you feel like you’re experiencing any COVID symptoms, it’s best to report them through Dr. Chat Bot immediately. Even if you think your symptoms might be something else, like a cold or seasonal congestion/allergies, it’s still important to tell University health professionals and contact tracers what you are experiencing—they always want to receive more, not less, information.

Here are the common COVID symptoms:

  • Temperature of 100 °F (37.8 °C) or higher
  • Chills
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Severe Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Sore Throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • The person being tested will isolate.
  • Current Monroe County Health Department guidance states that exposure to COVID-19 happens when an uninfected person is in close contact (within 6 feet) to someone known to have COVID-19 for 15 or more continuous minutes, and one or both of you are unmasked.
  • If you have spent more than 15 continuous minutes in close contact with the individual being tested—regardless of whether masks were worn—you should call UHS at (585) 275-2662 for further guidance. The contact tracing process will also alert you if you may have been exposed. You may be required to quarantine. If you become symptomatic, call your primary care physician (PCP) or UHS.
  • Your department head or an administrator will contact University Facilities at (585) 273-4567 to arrange proper cleaning and sanitization of the office or living spaces where the person who is being tested is based. University Facilities is prepared for these requests and is equipped to perform these types of cleanings.
  • Try to stay calm and wait for the results of the individual’s COVID-19 test to come back.
  • If a classmate, student or colleague at the University tests positive for COVID-19 as a result of a test completed through UHS or Employee Health at the Medical Center, contacting tracing and other follow-up protocols will automatically begin, including the individual’s requirement to immediately isolate.
  • If a classmate, student or colleague voluntarily tells you directly they have tested positive, it’s important for the health of the University community that UHS receive this information so that contact tracing and follow-up protocols can be completed. You are encouraged to contact UHS at (585) 275-2662 to make certain that UHS is aware of this positive case. If you are unsure whether or not this individual has been on campus recently, err on the side of caution and contact UHS.
  • Importantly, if you learn about a positive case on campus, it is not your responsibility to make further notifications (besides UHS) or initiate any form of contact tracing, regardless of whether you supervise or teach the person who tested positive. This is solely the responsibility of UHS, Employee Health (Medical Center), or appropriate health professionals. However, in cases when an individual shares their own positive-test status with their supervisor, the supervisor may ask for the campus locations (classrooms, offices, labs, etc.) the individual has entered—for 15 minutes or more—within the past 48 hours. This can enable more immediate cleaning and disinfecting of these spaces and surfaces; the supervisor can contact University Facilities at x34567, and/or if in a laboratory setting can initiate local cleaning procedures as necessary.
  • If you receive a positive test as a result of a test completed through UHS or Employee Health at the Medical Center, contact tracing and other follow-up protocols will automatically begin.
  • If you test positive through a test performed by your PCP, Urgent Care, or other testing facility outside of the University, please immediately contact UHS at (585) 275-2662 to self-report your case. This is a requirement of New York State reporting procedures for everyone who works, lives, or takes classes on campus.
  • Use Chat Bot to report your circumstances.
  • All University faculty members, post-docs, trainees, and staff should call their primary care provider (PCP). Your PCP knows your medical history and can provide the most informed guidance. If you do not have a primary care provider, please call (888) 928-0011 for guidance.
  • All University students should call UHS at (585) 275-2662 to discuss your personal circumstances. Health care providers there are in the best position to guide you on your next steps. Note: When calling UHS, please be patient with the process. UHS staff members are taking all of the calls, but the volume of callers may be high.
  • For your safety and for the safety of medical professionals and their other patients, please call before you visit any medical office.

Remember to keep up the habits that help prevent COVID-19 infection and keep the community healthy:

  • Wear a face mask and maintain social distancing—putting 6 feet of space between you and others in your daily interactions.
  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water (wash for at least 20 seconds) or alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay hydrated and get plenty of rest.
  • Complete the Dr. Chat Bot symptom screening tool every day.

If you would like to discuss your concerns with someone, there are many resources at the University available to you.

Complete your daily health screening

The Dr. Chat Bot daily health screening is mandatory for faculty, staff, and students who are reporting to any University campus.

Complete your screening

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