COVID-19


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Frequently Asked Questions

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause several symptoms including fever, coughing, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. The disease caused by this novel coronavirus has been named COVID-19. The majority of people experience mild symptoms, while others have severe illness that can lead to death. Patients who are older and have pre-existing medical problems appear to be at the highest risk for complications.

Students

  • Students (both on and off campus) can access the patient portal and send a MESSAGE (far-left column) to the “COVID-19 Assessment Provider.” A nurse and/or provider will review your message and call you back with management recommendations within four hours (Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
  • The provider will make recommendations based on your individual assessment and circumstances. Some students are able to recuperate at home and others will need to be evaluated in person. At this time, testing is limited at Student Health Services and Emory testing centers are being reserved for health care providers and those with chronic medical conditions. 
  • For students with urgent and after hours concerns, including weekends, please call 404.727.7551.
  • Oxford students residing on the Atlanta campus should contact Oxford Student Health Services Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call 770.784.8376 or email oxfordshs@emory.edu. For after-hours care, call 404.727.7551 and press “0” for assistance.
  • If you are experiencing severe symptoms, dial 911 or call the Emergency Room before you go and notify them that you could possibly have been exposed to either confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases.

Employees

What do I do if I am sick?

  • If you are sick, remain at home.
  • Contact your personal doctor for guidance.
  • Stay at home until you are instructed to leave except to get medical care. Review the steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • If you are having chest pain, serious difficulty breathing or any other type of medical emergency, call 911.

What do I do if I believe I have been exposed to COVID-19?

  • If you have symptoms (fever >100°F, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, congestion that differs from typical seasonal allergies, body aches, fatigue, diarrhea), stay home and call the COVID information line at 404.712.COVID (404.712.6843) for guidance.
  • If you don't have symptoms, you may continue to work and should self-monitor for symptoms.

Should I self-monitor for symptoms?

  • COVID-19 is circulating within the greater-Atlanta community. All of us may have had exposure, and symptoms can be mild. Everyone should be self-monitoring for symptoms (fever >100°F, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, congestion that differs from typical seasonal allergies, body aches, fatigue, diarrhea).

Is testing for Emory employees available?

  • Currently, Emory is prioritizing testing for symptomatic health care workers. Call the COVID information line at 404.712.COVID (404.712.6843) to be evaluated for a testing appointment and receive real-time guidance from a trained clinician. 

What if I have questions about how I am feeling or about Emory’s guidance?

  • Please contact the COVID information line (404.712.6843) to ask questions.

Should I be concerned about the possibility of asymptomatic or mildly-symptomatic transmission?

  • Emory continues to follow new research about the degree to which this occurs with COVID-19. For adults and in health care settings, it appears that those with some symptoms are the primary drivers of the spread of this virus. It appears that those with mild symptoms can be contagious, which is why Emory recommends symptom self-monitoring.

Although the Emory campus is not closed, as of Monday, March 23, all Atlanta and Oxford campus buildings are secured and will only be accessible with an active Emory ID card. This security measure is necessary for protection of personnel and property as a result of changes to the campus operating environment due to COVID-19. For more information, please see the Campus Services website.

Most faculty, staff and students have active Emory ID cards that will permit access to their buildings, but we anticipate some may not. Should you not have the necessary access to your buildings, please call the Emory Police Department at 404.727.6115 and coordinate with your department to provide access. Please note that various facilities across campus may have different operating postures to meet their mission requirements such as library services.

Learn more information about EmoryCard resources and the office.

The following buildings are currently closed on the Atlanta campus:

  • Woodruff P.E. Center
  • Student Activity & Academic Center (except mail and dining)
  • Emory Student Center
  • Alumni Memorial University Center
  • Schwartz Center for Performing Arts
  • Carlos Museum
  • All Emory Libraries
  • Barnes & Noble Bookstore
The following buildings are closed on the Oxford campus:
  • All residence halls
  • Language Hall
  • Humanities Hall
  • Pierce Hall
  • Hopkins Hall
  • Seney Hall
  • Science Building
  • Chapel
  • Phi Gamma
  • Tarbutton/Few Hall
  • Williams Gym
  • Library
  • Candler Hall
  • Oxford Student Center (3/28)

The order went into effect at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 3, and has been extended to Thursday, April 30, at 11:59 p.m.

Given that Emory University includes health care and research functions, among other services, we are considered part of the state’s “critical infrastructure.” Critical infrastructure organizations such as Emory will continue to operate essential operations but will take measures to mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19 among employees, including enhancing workplace sanitation, providing PPE as available and appropriate, providing disinfectant and sanitation products, and implementing teleworking for all possible workers.

If you have questions about the order or about the measures Emory is taking, please contact the HR representative for your area or school.

Emory is indefinitely suspending all official and previously authorized international and domestic travel for students, faculty and staff.

This restriction includes travel for university-related activities such as teaching, study abroad, conferences, internships, research, recruiting, business meetings and special events. Any requests for approval of international travel must be made through the Executive Travel Safety Committee and submitted to global@emory.edu.

In keeping with the university’s indefinite suspension of international travel, Emory canceled all Emory-sponsored undergraduate international travel for summer 2020, including summer-study-abroad programs. Emory also encourages faculty and staff responsible for organizing any summer 2020 Emory-sponsored international travel for graduate or professional students, either group or individual, to reconsider their plans, as such travel may not be allowed given the uncertain duration of the international travel suspension.

All university-sponsored domestic travel is suspended. Older adults and those who have certain medical conditions should avoid situations that put them at increased risk for more severe disease. This entails avoiding crowded places and avoiding travel.

Emory Healthcare, Grady Health System, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the VA Medical Center may implement more restrictive travel policies for health care personnel. Faculty and staff who have clinical responsibilities or whose workspaces are located in a clinical facility should follow the travel guidelines provided by their respective clinical institutions.

Emory strongly encourages you to reconsider your personal domestic and international travel in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Avoid all travel to countries with ongoing widespread sustained transmission of COVID-19 and consider the implications of any travel that might require 14 days of social distancing upon return to the United States. As noted above, older adults and those who have certain medical conditions should avoid situations that put them at increased risk. This entails avoiding crowded places and avoiding nonessential travel on long plane trips.

Effective for flights taking off at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 13, Americans returning from all restricted countries will now be required to travel through the following 13 airports:

  • Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS), Massachusetts
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
  • Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California
  • Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia

Upon arrival, travelers will proceed to standard customs processing. They will then continue to an enhanced entry screening where the passenger will be asked about their medical history, current condition and asked for contact information for local health authorities. Passengers will be given written guidance about COVID-19 and directed to proceed to their final destination; once home, they will quarantine in accordance with CDC best practices.

Travel guidance is being reviewed regularly and will be updated as new information about the COVID-19 pandemic becomes available.

New CDC guidance directs travelers to stay home for 14 days from the time they left countries that have a Level-3 travel health notice. Emory is following this directive for all returning travelers, including faculty, staff and students. This means all returning travelers must stay home for 14 days from the time they left these countries before coming back to Emory in order to maintain social distancing. The CDC advises taking these steps to monitor your health and practice social distancing:

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
  • Do not take public transportation, taxis or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  • Avoid crowded places and limit your activities in public.
  • Keep your distance from others (about six feet or two meters).

Emory community members who have questions or need assistance may contact the following resources: 

  • Students who have traveled to or through Level-3 countries within the past 14 days must call Student Health Services (404.727.7551) for a risk assessment and further directives on social distancing and self-monitoring. Oxford students residing on the Atlanta campus should contact Oxford Student Health Services Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call 770.784.8376 or email oxfordshs@emory.edu. For after-hours care, call 404.727.7551 and press “0” for assistance.
  • Faculty and staff who have traveled to or through Level-3 countries should call the Office of Occupational Injury Management at 404.686.8587 to receive a questionnaire.

As previously announced, residential learning has been suspended for the remainder of the semester. Emory transitioned to remote learning for graduate and undergraduate classes on Monday, March 23.

All university-sponsored events and gatherings of any size are indefinitely suspended. All university events and gatherings, both on and off campus, should shift to virtual venues or be postponed. If essential, brief meetings may be held in spaces large enough to accommodate appropriate social distancing.

Also, Emory made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel Commencement exercises planned for May. We realize that this is enormously disappointing, but this was the one option that ensures the safety and well-being of our Emory community members in the face of the spread of COVID-19. Planning is already under way to celebrate and commemorate the Class of 2020 later in the year, once we are able to do so safely. More information will be shared as these plans proceed.

Emory has discontinued all on-site study abroad programs. All study-abroad students are directed to return home and continue their studies remotely.

The study abroad offices will work individually with each student who decides to leave his/her study-abroad program to determine the best method of maintaining academic continuity. In most cases, this will mean completing online coursework provided by their current program or university abroad. If an online option is not available, study-abroad offices will work with the student to make a contingency plan for the remainder of the semester.

In keeping with the university’s indefinite suspension of international travel, Emory canceled all Emory-sponsored undergraduate international travel for summer 2020, including summer study abroad programs and fall 2020 study abroad programs. Emory encourages faculty and staff responsible for organizing any summer or fall 2020 Emory-sponsored international travel for graduate or professional students, either group or individual, to reconsider their plans, as such travel may not be allowed given the uncertain duration of the international travel suspension.

Students who have been planning Emory-sponsored travel should work with their units on any logistical or administrative issues resulting from this cancelation, such as the refund of paid deposits. Emory understands the importance of summer study abroad experiences and remains committed to working with students to ensure academic continuity during this challenging time.

Students with questions or concerns should contact their study-abroad adviser: Emory College Study Abroad or Goizueta BBA Study Abroad. (4/14)

When the spread of COVID-19 was first reported in the U.S., Emory increased the frequency and intensity of its cleaning regimen in all areas of the university, focusing on common areas such as bathrooms, dining facilities and meeting rooms.

If students or other members of the university community are tested for COVID-19, a special team of environmental health experts is immediately brought in to clean and disinfect the individual’s residence, including the bathroom and high-touch areas such as surfaces and doorknobs.

Emory’s commitment to the health and safety of our community is paramount. Representatives from environmental health, emergency preparedness, health care, campus life and many other units are taking action around-the-clock to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among members of our community. 

For patients who test presumptive positive, depending on their condition, they may or may not remain in the hospital. In some instances, patients may be sent home for home quarantine in coordination with the Georgia Department of Public Health to await a confirmation from the CDC. If a test result is confirmed and the patient requires hospital care, Emory Healthcare is fully prepared and equipped to treat the patient. We are following all established screening protocols and have implemented infection-control best practices throughout the health system.

Emory Healthcare is working closely with state and local public health agencies in following potential COVID-19 cases. Given our unique expertise with infectious disease care and research, we are actively monitoring the coronavirus situation. We are following all protocols and safety measures to ensure patients, their families and our health care community remain safe and we will continue to keep the public educated and informed.

Please see the CDC's guidelines for What to Do If You Are Sick, including ways to help prevent spreading the virus to others.

We should all be self-monitoring and practicing social distancing to help prevent spread of the infection. We have a moral and ethical obligation to protect vulnerable members of our communities as well as ourselves.

Good hygiene, particularly hand hygiene, can reduce the risk of many infections, including COVID-19.

The following tips can help keep everyone healthy:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Stay home when you are sick and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces. 

Find detailed answers to immigration issues related to COVID-19, including the implications of remote learning and working, on the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) FAQ page or reach out to an ISSS adviser

Below are links to several resources. Emory will continue to provide updates as more details become available.

Emory also offers support resources that are available to faculty, staff and students who would like help responding to various concerns affecting their well-being:

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides individual, group and couples counseling; stress- management classes; and community outreach to provide support for students and assist them in negotiating emotional and interpersonal difficulties as they matriculate through Emory University. You can reach the office at 404.727.7450.
  • Oxford College students seeking counseling and/or psychological services should contact the Office of Counseling and Career Services at 770.784.8394.
  • Student Health Services offers free psychiatric services for all enrolled Emory students. Services include diagnostic psychiatric evaluations, medication evaluations, long-term management of psychiatric medications and community referrals. Find out more information about reaching Student Health Services for after-hours emergencies or call 404.727.7551. Those seeking these services on the Oxford College campus should contact its office of Student Health Services, 770.784.8376 or oxfordshs@emory.edu.
  • Office of Spiritual and Religious Life has offices in Cannon Chapel (Suite 316) and the Alumni Memorial University Center (Suite 125). The office offers worship, prayer, meditation and retreats; support for religious and philosophical communities; educational and spiritual programs; connections with service and social justice efforts; confidential pastoral counseling; and support with planning vigils and other rituals for students, faculty and staff. Call 404.727.6226 or email religiouslife@emory.edu. On the Oxford College campus, contact Chaplain Lyn Pace, 770.784.8392 or ppace@emory.edu.
  • Student Intervention Services assists students in times of crisis. It also offers impartial, judgment-free counsel for students seeking guidance and assistance through life's ongoing challenges. You may reach the office at 404.430.1120.
  • Faculty Staff Assistance Program provides support for employees, including daytime emergency appointments and on-call after-hours services. Visit the emergency services webpage or call 404.727.9355 (WELL). 

Emory has two specific ways to help DACA students. First, Mariposa Scholars Program connects undocumented students to a strong network of dedicated peers and faculty. At the heart of this initiative is the desire to empower undocumented students with resources and opportunities that will enrich their time at Emory and prepare them to make positive change in the world. If you are interested in learning more about the Mariposa Scholars Program, please connect Krystyna Jordan at krystyna.kylah.jordan@emory.edu.

Additionally, DACA students can seek support via the Emory Together Fund. (5/4)

Please contact the bookstore at sm757@bncollege.com.

We are actively working with the Emory University Hospital to determine how our empty residence halls can be used during this pandemic.

More Frequently Asked Questions

Question about COVID-19?

Fill out this form if you seek additional information about how Emory is responding to COVID-19.

Questions

Resources and Information

What are the Symptoms?

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
Symptoms appear 2 to 14 days after exposure. The average incubation period of COVID-19 is reported to be about 5 days.

80 percent of patients with the confirmed disease have mild symptoms. In very severe cases, the illness can be fatal.

What to do if you have symptoms

If you have traveled to an affected geographic area within the past 14 days or have been in contact with someone suspected of or confirmed to have COVID-19 and are experiencing fever, cough or trouble breathing, please contact your healthcare provider for assessment and further direction. Emory students should contact Student Health Services, 404-727-7551 or Oxford Student Health Services, 770-784-8376. Faculty and staff with recent travel to affected areas may seek guidance from the Office of Occupational Injury Management, 404-686-8587. If after hours or on weekends, please call the OIM Nurse Practitioner on call at 404-686-5500 and enter the ID #50464.

Call Student Health ServicesCall Oxford Student Health ServicesCall Office of Occupational Injury Management

Study Abroad and Travel Restrictions

Emory is indefinitely suspending all official and previously authorized international and domestic travel for students, faculty and staff. This restriction includes travel for university-related activities such as teaching, study abroad, conferences, internships, research, recruiting, business meetings and special events. Any requests for approval of international travel must be made through the Executive Travel Safety Committee. Emory has also discontinued all on-site study abroad programs. All study abroad students are directed to return home and continue their studies remotely. For more information, contact Emory College Study Abroad or Goizueta BBA Study Abroad.

Contact the Executive Travel Safety CommitteeContact Emory College Study AbroadContact Goizueta BBA Study Abroad

EmoryTogether Fund

The EmoryTogether Fund was created to help degree-seeking undergraduate, graduate and professional students who have experienced financial hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our hope is that this assistance will help students remain focused on pursuing their educational goals. The fund is available to students who have critical COVID-19-related financial needs and meet the eligibility criteria.

Learn about the EmoryTogether Fund

Working Through COVID-19

Emory University Human Resources has set up a website with guidance for employees who may work remotely, including technology resources, tips for remote work and tips for supervisors. Your unit/work area leaders will provide guidance about when teleworking should be considered and when it is required.

View the Working Through COVID-19 website

Research Essentials

Emory's Office of Research Administration has set up a website for researchers so they can get pertinent, updated information in one place. Investigators will find the latest research guidance as well as other important and timely resources.

View Research Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has extensive information about the disease. The CDC issues guidance for travelers returning from countries with wide-spread ongoing transmission of the disease and offers additional resources.

View Guidance

Georgia Department of Public Health

The Georgia Department of Public Health is the state’s official COVID-19 response team. Its website includes information, guidances, and daily status reports.

View Topic

Legal Resources for the COVID-19 Crisis

The pandemic is an important time to consider legal issues related to health care, including wills, powers of attorney and advance directives. Emory Law offers useful information and links for the general public and additional services to medical residents completing their training in the Emory School of Medicine.

View Resources

Other Resources

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) has been implemented by the federal government. Emory has compiled useful information related to unemployment compensation, mortgage payments, student loan payments, economic impact payments, rent payments, tax returns and more.

View Resources

Supporting our Community

In a special message about coronavirus, President Claire E. Sterk, students and staff reflect on the personal impact of the global health crisis, encouraging everyone at Emory to remember that “you are part of a community of care” with resources available if you need them.