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
Currently, the Student Health Center is vaccinating by appointment. Please make an appointment using the link below.
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.
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 vacinated
- 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.
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 symptions 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.
Quarantine & Isolation: Students, faculty, and staff who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated against the virus and show no symptoms. Individuals who have not yet been fully vaccinated and who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, show symptoms, or anyone diagnosed as COVID-19 positive should continue to self-report in the MyVSU Portal.
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.
Options tp reduce quaratine
Reducing the length of quarantine may make it easier for people to quarantine by reducing the time they cannot work. A shorter quarantine period also can lessen stress on the public health system, especially when new infections are rapidly rising.
Your local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. Follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine. Options they will consider include stopping quarantine
- After day 10 without testing
- After day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later)
After stopping quarantine, you should
- Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
- If you have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your local public health authority or healthcare provider.
- Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash your hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
CDC continues to endorse quarantine for 14 days and recognizes that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances reduced burden against a small possibility of spreading the virus. CDC will continue to evaluate new information and update recommendations as needed. See Options to Reduce Quarantine for Contacts of Persons with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing for guidance on options to reduce quarantine.
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.
- 2205 N. Ashley St.
- Make appointment online for drive-up testing
- Free testing available if no insurance
- Weekend testing available
SGMC Urgent Care
- 4280 North Valdosta Rd.
- No appointment needed
- Drive through testing Monday - Friday 8 AM to 4 PM
- Closed on Weekend
- Symptoms required for testing
Lowndes County Health Department
- Call for Free testing -844-955-1499
- Lowndes County is open Monday- Saturday (8:30 AM to 12:30 PM)
- Testing site is at the Civic Center - 2108 East Hill Avenue
What to do if you have tested positive
Student Testing Positive
You should isolate at your permanent home, if possible. 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.
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.
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 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
- At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
- Symptoms have improved
If you tested positive, but do not have symptoms, these steps should be followed.
- Stay home until after 10 days have passed since your positive test
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 a student was exposed to someone who has tested positive and needs to quarantine and lives in on-campus housing, VSU will provide space for the student to quarantine for 14 days from contact. If the student lives in off-campus housing, the student will need to quarantine in their 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 steps.
- Stay home until 14 days after your last contact
- Check your temperature twice a day and watch for symptoms of COVID-19
- If possible stay away from people who are at higher-risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
If you start to develop symptoms, contact the Student Health Center at 229-333-5886 or your primary care physician.