COVID Prevention, Testing, Reporting

The Student Health Center staff is here to help answer your COVID-19 questions and provide you support with testing, vaccinations and medial care. All services are currently available in-person and through phone consultation. If you are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms or have been exposed to someone with symptoms, please contact the student health center at 229-333-5886 prior to arrival.

COVID-19 Health Information

  • COVID Vaccine

    Currently, the Student Health Center is vaccinating by appointment. Please make an appointment using the link below.

    COVID VACCINE APPOINTMENT

    Vaccinations will continue as long as supplies are available. If you are unable to make your appointment, please contact the Student Health Center at 229-333-5886 as soon as possible so that we can arrange for someone else to receive it. 

    Additional information and other vaccination locations can be found on VSU Vaccination Plan web site. 

     

  • Prevention

    Prevention

    Guidance for unvaccinated people

    For members of the Valdosta State community, the best prevention measures for any respiratory virus, including Covid-19, are:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

    When you've been fully vaccinated

    • If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.
    • Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. 

     

      POST-VACCINATION PRECAUTIONS

               

        

     Additional Helpful Resources

  • Student Health Safety Procedures

    For the safety of our Blazer community, the following procedures have been established. 

    • All patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should wear a face covering before entering the building. If you do not have symptoms and have not been vaccinated, face coverings are highly encouraged. 
    • Our staff will continue to wear face coverings while seeing patients. 
    • All patients will be screened for fever, COVID-19 symptoms as part of their exam.
  • Testing and Contact Tracing

    Students: Valdosta State will provide testing for our students through VSU Health Services. Based on individual patient preference and circumstances; several testing solutions are available. These include Rapid testing (24 to 48 hrs.) and Saliva testing (72 to 96 hrs.). The Health Center may also refer students for testing through GDPH stand-up sites available in our local communities, or other local primary care providers. Additionally, specimens can be collected at Health Services and sent to reference labs. Although these options are not point-of-care or rapid, results are currently being returned within a reasonable time frame.

    Faculty & Staff: Faculty and staff should seek tests through their primary care physicians and other local health systems, in addition to Georgia Department of Public Health testing facilities. Options can be found below under Off Campus Testing sites.

    Isolation Changes

    Recently, the CDC updated its guidance regarding isolation, and the USG is following that recommendation. For those who test positive, they should isolate for 5 days, and if the symptoms are improving and they’ve been fever-free for 24 hours and haven’t used a fever-reducing medication, they can leave isolation after 5 days, but they should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for an additional 5 days to minimize potential transmission.

    Quarantine Changes

    Those exposed who are unvaccinated or are vaccinated but not fully boosted should quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days. Those who have received their booster shot or completed the primary series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months or completed the primary series of the J&J vaccine within the last two months DO NOT need to quarantine following an exposure, but they should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.

    • If it has been more than 6 months since your second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you will be considered as unvaccinated in the event of an exposure.
    • If it has been more than 2 months since your J&J vaccine, you will be considered as unvaccinated in the event of an exposure.

    For anyone exposed, the CDC says best practice would also include getting tested at day 5 after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately remain at home until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19. You can read more about the updated CDC guidance here: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1227-isolation-quarantine-guidance.html

    Isolation Verses Quarantine

    Here are some important definitions: 

    • Isolation is the separation of those who have tested positive for Covid-19 or been diagnosed with Covid-19 by symptoms.
    • Quarantine is the separation of those who have been exposed to someone with Covid-19, but who are  not ill.
    • Infectious period is the period during which someone with Covid-19 can transmit the infection to others. The infectious period is defined as starting two days before symptoms begin and ends when the person has recovered.  

    Reporting Cases

    VSU will resume the posting of positive COVID numbers once the Spring 2022 semester begins and an accurate total is available. Students and employees should continue to self-report COVID+ diagnosis and close contact with persons diagnosed positive through MyVSU. In all cases, during the notification process, the identity of the person who tested positive will be kept confidential.

  • Off Campus Testing Sites

    The following locations in the Valdosta area have COVID-19 testing.

    AppleCare Urgent Care 

    • 3200-C North Ashley Street, Valdosta, GA 
    • Offering rapid test
    • Appointments recommended, will take limited walk-ins
    • Appointment link
    • Open weekends

    CVS Pharmacy

    • 2205 N. Ashley St.
    • Make appointment online for drive-up testing
    • Free testing available if no insurance
    • Weekend testing available

     SGMC Urgent Care (Smith Northview)

    • 4280 North Valdosta Rd.
    • No appointment needed
    • Drive through testing Monday - Friday 8 AM to 3 PM
    • Offering rapid test
    • For more details use this link

    South Health District

    • Rapid tests available for individuals who are symptomatic. Asymptomatic individuals or those with no symptoms may register for PCR testing.
    • For details, appointments and locations, use this link.

    Walgreens (multiple locations)

    • All locations are offering testing.
    • For details as to type of test and to schedule an appointment online, use this link.

    For additional support finding a testing site, use this link maintained by the Georgia Department of Public Health.

     

  • What to do if you have tested positive

    Testing Positive

    If you live in on-campus housing and cannot return home, VSU will provide a space for you to isolate until you meets criteria for ending isolation. If you live in off-campus housing, you will need to isolate in your off-campus residence. 

    If the testing was done at Student Health, we will initiate the contact notification process. If the testing was done somewhere off campus, the student will need to self-report the result. That will initiate contact notification by VSU and contact tracing by the Georgia Department of Public Health. 

    Report a Positive COVID-19 Test

    If you have received a positive test for Covid-19 at a site off-campus, report it through MyVSU. Click on COVID Self Reporting within MyVSU

    During Isolation  

    A daily self-monitoring form can be download to help you keep track of your symptoms. Use the link below to download the self monitoring guide. 

    Self- Monitoring Guide 

    During isolation a Student Health staff member will follow-up with you to monitor your welfare and progress.

    When to Return

    If you tested positive with symptoms, these steps should be followed.

    Stay home until after:

    • At least 5 days since symptoms first appeared and
    • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
    • Symptoms have improved
    • After leaving isolation, you should wear a well-fitted mask for additional 5 days around others to minimize potential transmission. 

    If you tested positive, but do not have symptoms, these steps should be followed.

    • Stay home until after 5 days have passed since your positive test, and then wear a well-fitted mask for additional 5 days around others to minimize potential transmission.

    If you live with others, stay in a specific "sick room" or area and away from other people or animals, including pets. Use a separate bathroom, if available.  

  • What to do if you have been exposed

    If you are exposed to someone who has tested positive and need to quarantine and live in on-campus housing, VSU will provide space for the student to quarantine. If you live in off-campus housing, you will need to quarantine in your off-campus housing.

    Close contact is defined as:

    • anyone who was within 6 feet of the person who tested positive for 15 or more minutes
    • anyone who had physical contact with the person
    • or anyone who was coughed or sneezed on by the person.

     If you had close contact with a person who has COVID-19, follow these quarantine steps.

    Unvaccinated 

    • Quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days.

    Vaccinated 

    Those who have received their booster shot or completed the primary series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months or completed the primary series of the J&J vaccine within the last two months DO NOT need to quarantine following an exposure, but they should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.

    NOTE:

    • If it has been more than 6 months since your second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you will be considered as unvaccinated in the event of an exposure.
    • If it has been more than 2 months since your J&J vaccine, you will be considered as unvaccinated in the event of an exposure.

    For anyone exposed, the CDC says best practice would also include getting tested at day 5 after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately remain at home until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19. You can read more about the updated CDC guidance here: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1227-isolation-quarantine-guidance.html

    If you start to develop symptoms, contact the Student Health Center at 229-333-5886 or your primary care physician.