As more testing has taken place across the nation, we have learned about new members of our community who have tested positive for COVID-19. These individuals have been contacting Dr. Vince WinklerPrins, chief public health officer, who then has connected with the appropriate health department responsible for contact tracing. We encourage others who test positive to continue to do so via the COVID-19 Screening Form or the Medical Campus COVID-19 Screening Form, so we can appropriately notify our community of possible risks of exposure. While there are no active cases on Georgetown’s campuses, we are notifying our community of positive cases reported to the university.
As of 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, 15 total positive COVID-19 cases have been confirmed to Georgetown University.
We are respecting the privacy and medical confidentiality of our community members who have tested positive for COVID-19. While it is understandable to question if you have come into contact with someone who has a confirmed case, please remember:
- The public health department in the jurisdiction where each person who tests positive lives will determine who needs to be contacted based on its investigation of each case.
- With the ongoing community spread of COVID-19, the most important thing for all of us to do is practice good health hygiene and social distancing and follow the guidance from U.S. and local health authorities.
If you are feeling sick
The symptoms of COVID-19 can include a fever (temperature above 100.3), cough, and difficulty breathing – similar to what you may feel with influenza or a bad cold. The incubation period (how soon the symptoms appear from the time of first exposure) for these types of viruses is typically 2-14 days.
- Anyone who is feeling ill with symptoms that could be related to COVID-19 is suggested to self-isolate for 14 days.
- For medical advice, students should call their personal doctor or the Student Health Center (202-687-2200). Other students, staff or faculty should call their personal doctor. Any person exhibiting symptoms should call a medical professional prior to going to a healthcare facility.
- Any members of our community who have been tested positive for COVID-19 should contact Dr. Vince WinklerPrins, Chief Health Officer, via the COVID-19 Screening Form or the Medical Campus COVID-19 Screening Form so that we can appropriately notify our community of possible risks of exposure.
- Faculty and staff who are notified of another ill community member should encourage that person to follow the CDC guidelines, self-isolate and contact a medical professional.
Georgetown University Premier Student Health Insurance Plan members can access Virtual Medical Visits, Virtual Counseling and a 24/7 Emotional Support Helpline free of charge. Visit the Student Health Insurance website for more information.
Contact with COVID-Positive Individuals
If you have been exposed directly to a person with COVID-19, and you do not work in the health care setting, you should carefully monitor your symptoms for any sign of illness, especially cough and/or fever and immediately self-isolate if these symptoms develop. If you have been exposed directly to a person with COVID-19, and you work in the health care setting, you should follow the guidance of your hospital/clinic.
Below, you will find additional guidance for specific scenarios, based on CDC’s guidance for risk assessment.
Accessible version of the Covid-19 Chart. This chart was modified from a version by Stanford University.
Self-Quarantine and Social Distancing Instructions
All community members, even those who are well, should practice social distancing. Social distancing is maintaining a distance of approximately 6 feet from others to stop or slow the spread of COVID-19.
If you are feeling unwell or are exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and you start to develop symptoms, you may need to self-quarantine. People who self-quarantine should not go to work or school, should avoid close contact with others and should avoid large gatherings during the 14-day period. Voluntary self-quarantine is a form of social distancing that may limit onward transmission in the event that you have contracted COVID-19.
Those who self-quarantine should monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms. Monitoring includes checking for any symptoms that could be related to COVID-19 such as: fever (greater than 100.3, or if you think you have a fever), cough, or shortness of breath. If you develop these or other flu-like symptoms, please isolate yourself from other people and pets and contact your health care provider.
Note: According to the CDC, people who have contact with someone who had contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 are at lower risk of developing the disease. The CDC offers this information about how the virus is spread.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
- Clean your hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Social distancing can stop or slow down the spread of COVID-19.