Frequently Asked Questions related to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Travel Related

Please review the Current Travel Advisories prior to planning and embarking on travel:

Travel is permitted in Canada and the domestic US provided that the University’s usual travel policies and authorization processes are followed. University business would include conference, training, and meetings.

If your travel is not approved, the university will not be responsible for reimbursing any expenses should you still choose to go as it will not be university sanctioned travel.

Note that international travel for all university business has been canceled until further notice. For more information related to international travel, go to US State Department Travel Advisories for up-to-date information.

ALL other international travel must be reported, especially if you will be on campus or attending a clinical rotation site upon your return. Please complete the Travel Report Survey prior to your departure.

Students whose clinical rotation schedules require traveling out of the area around the campus or out of state, are advised to check the COVID-19 infection rate for the area where they will be going. Students are advised to adhere to all infection prevention and control measures, e.g., face covering, hand hygiene, social distancing, and monitor for signs/symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status. Depending on the country, state, and local COVID-19 safety requirements, students may need to factor in quarantine period mandates as part of their rotation schedules. For example, if a state or country requires a 14 day quarantine period upon entry, students will need to adjust travel arrangements to abide by the 14-day mandate.

For information related to travel in general, go to Travel in the US or After Travel Precautions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend that individuals avoid out-of-state, non-essential travel because travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.

Both Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) and Oregon Health Authority now have different guidance for travel based on vaccination status. Please review the links below for current guidelines.

Definition of Fully Vaccinated:

A person is considered fully vaccinated ≥2 weeks following the receipt of:

  • the second dose in a 2-dose series (e.g., Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna)
  • one dose of a single-dose vaccine (e.g., Johnson and Johnson/Janssen)

If you are fully vaccinated, for both California and Oregon: You can travel safely within the United States and do not require a quarantine period. While international travel poses additional risk, fully vaccinated persons may travel internationally provided they take precautions while traveling and they have a negative COVID-19 viral test prior to flying into the United States. For international travel, a viral test 3-5 days post travel is recommended. This may be required for you to return to work or a clinical site. See CDC International Travel Recommendations for more information.

  • California: LACDPH has issued a travel advisory for individuals who are not fully vaccinated and returning to the area from other states or countries. If you have participated in non-essential travel from your primary WesternU residence, then you must self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms 14 days after your arrival AND follow one of the quarantine guidelines below :
    • Tested: Quarantine for 7 full days after travel if you get tested and get a negative COVID-19 viral test result from a specimen collected 3-5 days after your arrival.
    • Not Tested: Quarantine for 10 days upon return if you do not get tested with a COVID-19 viral test after arrival.
  • Los Angeles County Public Health Travel Advisory
  • Oregon: Persons arriving in Oregon from other states or countries, including returning Oregon residents, should self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. These persons should limit their interactions to their immediate household. This recommendation does not apply to individuals who cross state or country borders for essential travel.
  • Oregon Public Health and News Advisories
  • If travel was deemed essential (i.e., for clinical rotations, essential work, etc.) than you may return to campus. Travel should be reported to your College/Operating Unit and a COVID-19 test may be requested prior to your return. If returning to a clinical site, follow any guidelines provided by your site to return.
  • “Essential travel” includes: work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security.

COVID-19 VACCINATIONS

For more information regarding COVID-19 Vaccinations, please visit the CDC’s webpage. To receive a COVID-19 vaccine on the Pomona WesternU Campus, please visit the WesternU Health webpage for more information.

Submit your proof of vaccination to the SEHO. Simply take a photo of your vaccine card and email it to stu-emphealth@westernu.edu. In the subject line, write COVID Vaccine.

If you are a new incoming student, please submit your COVID Vaccine record with your health clearance packet.

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines being developed in the United States have the virus that causes COVID-19 in them. Sometimes people get a fever or feel tired for a day or so after getting a vaccine. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. You can learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work at this CDC website.

It usually takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. If a person got infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after they got a shot they could still get COVID-19. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

Yes. According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccination should be offered to persons regardless of a history of having COVID-19 infection, with or without symptoms.
Natural immunity, which is gained from having the infection, varies from person to person. It is still unknown how long natural immunity lasts. So, if you have had COVID-19 and recovered, re-infection is still possible and it is still recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

No. Vaccines won’t cause you to test positive on a viral test (like the swab test) that looks for current COVID-19 infection. You may test positive on some antibody tests. This is because one of the ways that vaccines work is to teach your body to make antibodies.

Information and support

Stay home and immediately submit theWesternU COVID-19 Report Survey. This will initiate the contact tracing process on campus. If you have any questions, please email COVIDTracing@westernu.edu.

If you are fully vaccinated (>2 weeks since your final COVID-19 dose in a vaccine series) and are exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual, you only need to submit the report survey if you are experiencing symptoms.

HCP with mild to moderate illness who are not severely immunocompromised can return to work:

  • At least 10 days after symptom onset AND
  • At least 24 hours since last fever without fever-reducing medication AND
  • Improvement in symptoms.

Asymptomatic HCP who are not severely immunocompromised should be excluded from work until 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms. If they develop symptoms, follow above guidance.

Symptomatic HCP with severe or critical illness that required hospitalization, or who are severely immunocompromised can return to work:

  • At least 20 days after symptom onset AND
  • At least 24 hours since last fever without fever-reducing medication AND
  • Improvement in symptoms.

Note: Asymptomatic HCP who are severely immunocompromised, should wait to return to work until days since first positive viral diagnostic test.

For current definitions of COVID-19 illness severity and severely immunocompromised see CDC Return to Work for Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Return to Work Practices and Work Restrictions

Employees with a confirmed COVID-19 infection do not need a medical clearance to return to work after they have met the isolation requirements as established by the local public health authority.

STUDENTS: You are also held to the return to work requirements of the clinical rotation site you are currently assigned to.

Flu Symptoms

Influenza (flu) can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.

Flu is different from a cold.
Flu usually comes on suddenly.

People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

*It is important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

COVID-19 Symptoms

COVID-19 symptoms range from mild to severe illness, and death.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

*This list does not include all possible symptoms.

Key differences between COVID-19 and influenza include:

  • COVID-19 spreads more easily than influenza
  • COVID-19 causes more serious illness in some people
  • It can take longer for those with COVID-19 to show symptoms and they can be infectious for longer.

Source: CDC Similarities and Differences between Flu and COVID-19.