Health & Prevention FAQs

About COVID-19

What is COVID-19?

There is an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Currently, the CDC believes that symptoms appear between 2-14 days after exposure. Coronavirus can be transmitted person-to-person. Additional information about COVID-19 symptoms can be found here.

What is the incubation period?

The current evidence suggests a typical incubation period (time from exposure of the virus to the development of symptoms) is 2 to 7 days but might be up to 14 days in some individuals.

What is the treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19)?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. People infected with COVID-19 are treated with supportive care to help relieve symptoms..

Who is at risk for COVID-19?

According to the CDC, early reports indicate that some people are at a higher risk of getting sick from this illness. This includes:

  • Older adults
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions, like heart disease, diabetes, lung disease

The most common symptoms include fever (38°C/ 100.4 °F) and respiratory complaints such as cough and shortness of breath. Those with chronic underlying medical conditions appear to be at higher risk for serious complications.


Health, wellness, and prevention

What is the current status of COVID-19 as it relates to Tulane?

Tulane Campus Health has begun testing individuals based on screening guidelines. Individuals who are tested will be kept in isolation to prevent the spread of the disease. Health authorities throughout the world are focused on this illness and Tulane’s highly trained medical staff is closely following developments while working with other university offices to make well-informed decisions for the protection of the Tulane community.

*Should we be wearing facemasks?

The CDC is now recommending wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). This is to ensure that individuals who have the virus but do not have symptoms are not accidently transmitting it to others. While it will help you from accidently spreading the virus, wearing a simple cloth mask will not protect you from contracting the virus from others. This is why it is still critical to maintain 6-feet social distancing. The use of simple cloth face coverings will help to slow the spread of the virus.

Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Visit the CDC to learn more and to watch a tutorial on how to make your own cloth face covering.

What is the difference between a recommendation to self-isolate, to isolate, or to quarantine?
  • A recommendation for self-isolation serves to temporarily separate people who have been in an area of public health concern to help protect their health and that of their community.
  • Quarantine in general means the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic, from others who have not been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease. A mandatory quarantine is a formal, binding requirement for someone to be separated from other contacts in the interest of public health and may be enforced. Decisions to implement a mandatory quarantine are made by public health officials. Tulane University is closely monitoring guidelines from the relevant authorities and will follow all mandatory quarantine protocols if and when they are required.
  • Isolation means the separation of a person or group of people known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent spread of the communicable disease. Isolation for public health purposes may be voluntary or compelled by federal, state, or local public health order.
How do I help prevent the spread of viruses, including COVID-19?

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

While there is still much that is unknown about the virus, we know what we can do to reduce our risk for infection from many infectious diseases:

  • Wash your hands often (using soap and water for at least 20 seconds), especially after you have touched someone who is sick. If soap and water are not available, then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If you have cold or flu symptoms, make sure to cover your coughs and sneezes by using the crook of your arm or disposable tissues. If you use disposable tissues throw them away after use and then wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Avoid sharing drinks with others.
  • Maintain a balanced diet, exercise, stay hydrated, and get plenty of rest.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you think you are sick, call your healthcare provider for assistance.

Additional prevention techniques can be found at the CDC site on prevention.

How should I clean and disinfect communal spaces?

The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, tables, keyboards, light switches). Use a disinfectant registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or a 10% bleach/water solution to clean surfaces. Please avoid putting disinfectant gels or liquids on electronics and other equipment, including elevator buttons, unless they have been indicated as safe to use on those devices.

What should members of the Tulane community do to protect themselves?

Because it is cold and flu season, and this virus has similar symptoms to the cold and flu, it is important to not make any assumptions; individuals should have any respiratory illness evaluated by a healthcare provider. Individuals who have a fever or any other cold or flu symptoms you should not report to work or attend classes.

If you develop symptoms such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath within 14 days of your return from personal or university-related travel to an area affected by COVID-19 OR you have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19, please take the steps listed below:

  • Before you go to the Tulane Student Health Center, any clinic, your primary care physician’s office, or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your exposure or potential exposure to COVID-19, your recent travel, and your symptoms.
  • You may call the Tulane Student Health Center at +1-504-862-8121 during business hours (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) and +1-855-487-0290 after 5:00 p.m. This is applicable for all Tulane faculty, staff, students, scholars, and their families.
    Any travelers returning from a country with a COVID-19 outbreak must call the Tulane Student Health Center prior to returning to campus.
  • Immediately follow the advice of the healthcare professional at the Tulane Student Health Center.
What should I do if I feel symptomatic and am worried I have COVID-19?

Tulane Students:

  • Go to the Uptown Student Health Center (Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.).
  • After hours, students can call the Nurse Advice Line at +1-855-487-0290 or call a local Urgent Care Center.

Tulane Employees:
If you have symptoms including a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call your primary care provider. Do not go to the doctor without calling first.

  • If you do not have a primary care provider, call the Louisiana Department of Health hotline at  1-855-523-2652.
  • If you are severely ill and you think you need hospitalization, call 9-1-1 or go to an emergency room.
Who should get tested for COVID-19?

If you have symptoms including a fever, cough, or shortness of breath:
Get tested at a clinic
Each clinic has their own requirements for testing. Please call ahead to make sure you qualify for testing at that clinic.

Get tested at a drive thru testing site

  • You must arrive in a vehicle. Walk-ups and bicycles are not allowed for the saftey of our healthcare workers.
  • You must be 18 years or older.
  • You must be symptomatic.

Visit for drive-thru testing locations.

I am concerned about family and friends who are in a geographic area where there is a COVID-19 outbreak, what do I do?

Know that you are not alone in this difficult time. Students can walk-in to CAPS for Counseling Services (located in the Science & Engineering Lab Complex) or Case Management and Victim Support Services (located in the LBC, G02) from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. After hours, students may access The Line for confidential counseling services at +1-504-264-6074 or the Student Affairs Professional On-Call at +1-504-920-9900. Students may also email to communicate with a Case Manager.

The Employee Assistance Program is available for faculty and staff seeking counseling or support. Information about Employee Assistance Programs can be found here.

What do I do if I leave campus, but need a prescription refill from a Tulane University Campus Health Provider?

If you will need a prescription refill from a Tulane University Campus Health provider, please contact your prescribing provider without delay. To initiate the refill request to your provider, you may reply to a secure message from your provider via the patient portal or call the appropriate clinic.

Health Center, Uptown: 504-865-5255 option 1
Health Center, Downtown: 504-988-6929
CAPS Psychiatry: 504-314-2277

If you choose to call your Campus Health provider about medication, please provide the following information to the patient representative who answers your call:

  • Name of the prescribing provider
  • Name of the medication
  • Your splash ID

Once the request is received, the provider will contact you to clarify and confirm your request.

Be mindful that requests to fill prescriptions days or weeks early may be denied by your insurance because the refill is occurring too soon. If you are going home and have a short-term supply of medication on hand, ask your provider to send your prescription to your home pharmacy. Please provide your home pharmacy’s name, phone number, and address to your provider.

If you plan to remain local and would like to utilize the Campus Health Pharmacy during this time, ask your provider to send your prescription to the Campus Health Pharmacy. Currently there are no plans for long-term closures of the Campus Health Pharmacy.

As a reminder, prescriptions for stimulant medications that are controlled substances (ex: Adderall, Concerta, Focalin, Ritalin, Vyvanse) cannot be transferred from pharmacy to pharmacy and must be sent directly from your provider to the pharmacy location where you would like to pick up your prescription. Please note that certain controlled substances may not be filled electronically once you leave the state of Louisiana, so please request these transfers before leaving town.

If you have a non-stimulant prescription refill on file at the Campus Health Pharmacy, your prescription may be transferred remotely. To initiate the transfer, ask your home pharmacy to call the Tulane Campus Health Pharmacy at 504-862-8658.