Health, Wellness and Prevention

What do I do if I feel sick?

CDC provides guidelines on what to do if you are sick. If you are feeling sick, stay home and call your health care provider immediately for medical advice.

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms of a respiratory illness including fever (100.4 degrees or higher), cold-like symptoms, cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, call your health care provider immediately for medical advice. Be sure to get care if you feel worse or it is an emergency. Notify the Campus Safety Office by phone or email at extension 3333 (on-campus landlines) or (616) 632-2462 or cso@aquinas.edu.

MDHHS has expanded testing criteria for COVID-19 to include individuals with mild symptoms. If you have symptoms, please use the state's COVID-19 test site finder to locate a testing site. For convenience, a few locations near Aquinas College are listed below.

  • Schedule a free screening through Spectrum Health's COVID-19 hotline at (833) 559-0659 or visit their site to use the virtual screener. If you are referred to a test by the healthcare professional, you will go to a drive-thru site and get tested. Those who do not have a physican's order for testing at the drive-thru location will not be tested.
  • Call the Mercy Health testing hotline at (616) 685-COVD (2683) or visit their site to take a virtual screening, visit a designated screening location or call your primary care provider to determine next steps. If you are cleared for testing, a triage nurse will provide instructions on how to access the COVID-19 drive-through testing.
  • Call the Cherry Health COVID-19 Hotline at (616) 965-8347 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to be screened for COVID-19 testing.
  • Visit the Metro Health: University of Michigan Health website and use take the free online screening.

I feel anxious and stressed about this public health situation and the uncertainty surrounding it. What do I do?

We recognize that the uncertainty and the quickly changing nature of this situation may cause a great deal of stress and anxiety. We encourage you to practice self-care as well as care for your loved ones and your neighbors.

  • If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please contact Counseling, Health and Wellness at (616) 632-2905 or CHWS@aquinas.edu or the Campus Safety Office at (616) 632-2462 or cso@aquinas.edu.
  • In case of a mental health emergency, contact the Campus Safety Office at extension 3333 from any on-campus landline phone or at (616) 632-2462.
  • Employee Assistance Center (EAC) is available for employees and their immediate family members. Call 1-800-227-0905. 
  • Please follow CDC recommendations for managing anxiety and stress.

What is coronavirus? What is COVID-19?

The Centers for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) provides information about the coronavirus, how COVID-19 spreads and FAQs on its website.

WHO also provides information about the coronavirus and FAQs on its website.

How does it spread?

The Centers for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) provides information about how COVID-19 spreads on its website.

What are the symptoms?

Please refer to CDC’s COVID-19 symptoms page for the most updated information. According to CDC, symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19: 

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of tast or smell
  • This list is not all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

What is the risk? How worried should I be?

CDC states that some people, including older adults, people with HIV, pregnant women, people with asthma and those with chronic medical conditions (including heart disease, diabetes and lung disease) are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 and provides recommendations for those people to reduce their risk of getting sick with the disease.

Please refer to the CDC website for information about risk assessment and to see CDC’s Geographic Risk Assessment for COVID-19 Transmission.

Within our Aquinas community, students, faculty and staff have a range of health needs and concerns. We urge all community members to be diligent in following the advice provided by the CDC to keep everyone safe. We also encourage higher-risk individuals who are concerned about their health to contact their primary care provider with questions or concerns.

What about prevention and treatment?

CDC provides guidance for how to protect yourself and others and what to do if you are sick.

CDC says everyone should do the following:

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others

  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces dailyThis includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

CDC also provides specific guidance for travelers on its website.

CDC states that there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Additionally, WHO provides coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public on its website, which includes basic protective measures, staying healthy while traveling, when and how to use masks, myth-busters, advice for health workers, how to cope with stress during the outbreak, food safety practices, and more.

What can I do to prevent the spread of germs?

First and foremost, please stay home if you develop symptoms of a respiratory illness. Call ahead to your health care provider immediately and remain at home until you receive instructions about next steps from your health care provider or local health department.

Follow CDC’s guidelines for how to protect yourself and others and what to do if you are sick.