Each person is responsible to contribute to the health and safety of our campus community, and this includes isolating when you're sick. So, what is isolation? Isolation means separating people infected with COVID-19 (showing symptoms or not) from those who are not infected.
We hope the following will give you some helpful guidance on what isolation looks like at WSU and how we will support individuals during a most inconvenient and uncertain time.
What to Expect
- Answer your phone. Staff from WSU Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) will be in touch regularly. They will gather important information related to your health and the health of others. The faster the team can contact and sequester COVID-19 positive students and their close contacts, the more we reduce the risk of exposing others.
- Be honest. It’s important to be truthful and direct in your communication with WSU EH&S and all medical staff. Openly sharing all your activity and contacts is central to this being successful.
- Privacy is important. EH&S will maintain your anonymity, and only share your identity when you provide permission. Please know that allowing EH&S to share your name with on-campus support services ensures those resources may be delivered quickly and efficiently.
- Isolation duration. EH&S will provide information relating to how long you must avoid contact with others, and the many resources available to you.
- Daily check ups. You’ll receive a text message every day asking how you are feeling. If you need assistance with anything, you can respond to the text message with that information and someone will call to personally answer your questions. If it is a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1.
The Office of the Dean of Students provides support in navigating all aspects of your WSU experience and serves as a centralized hub in directing you towards your campus resource needs. See the resources section toward the bottom of this page.
While You’re Self-Isolating
- Avoid all contact with others as much as possible.
- Wear a mask if you have to be around others.
- Only leave for essential errands such as medical care or getting food. Opt for curbside pickup or delivery when available at grocery stores and restaurants.
- Connect with friends and family virtually, instead of meeting in person.
Things You Can Do
- Exercise on your own. Check out UREC's virtual fitness opportunities.
- Go outside as long as you wear a mask and do not interact with others.
- Virtually connect with someone close to you every day
- Stay in a routine
- Catch up on your favorite shows
- Read a book just for fun
- Start a journal or blog
Accommodations for On-Campus Residents in Pullman
WSU staff will provide access to:
- A temporary residence in McEachern Hall with a dedicated restroom.
- Meal delivery.
- Weekly laundry service.
- Sanitation products to maintain a hygienic space.
- Help moving your items to your temporary residence, if necessary.
- A parking permit or a vehicle to move your items if you can drive.
Accommodations for Off-Campus Residents on all Campuses
Contact your local and regional health authorities to see what resources and accommodations are available.
Taking Care of Your Mental Health
We care about the mental health challenges you’re facing, and we’re ready to provide support when you need it most. During self-isolation, you may feel:
- Anger or resentment
- Boredom and frustration
- Sadness and depression
- Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
Please contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 509-335-4511 with any mental health questions or to schedule an appointment. Crisis support is also available by phone after hours at 509-335-2159.
Prepare a “Go Bag”
It’s good to have the following items pre-packed and readily available:
- Digital thermometer: for monitoring your symptoms
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfectant wipes
- Water bottle
- Self-monitoring log
- Two re-usable cloth masks
- Cell phone charger
- List of important phone numbers
- List of allergies
- Clothes and pajamas for 2-3 days
- And something you keep you occupied like books or a deck of cards
If you need help procuring any of these items, please contact WSU Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) at 509-335-3041.
Know the Symptoms
Common symptoms* of COVID-19 include:
- Fever (defined as >100.4 ⁰F)
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
- New loss of taste or smell
- Congestion or runny nose
*This is not an exhaustive list. See the full CDC symptoms list for more guidance.
Remember, people can still spread the virus when pre-symptomatic (before showing symptoms) or asymptomatic (not showing symptoms).
Cougar Health Services – Call first for all appointments: 509-335-3575. For emergencies: Call 911 or Pullman Regional Hospital at 509-332-2541.
- Cougar Health Services can be reached by phone at 509-335-3575 and encompasses a variety of student-centered health services including Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Promotion, the Medical Clinic, on-campus pharmacy, and Vision Clinic.
- Counseling and Psychological Services, reception can be reached at: 509-335-4511
- Medical Services appointments can be made through the WSU Patient Portal.
- For non-WSU affiliated residents, a list of private practice and community health providers can be found on the CHS Referral Guide.
- The Student Care Network outlines the following resources:
- Food Assistance, including food delivery options and food pantries.
- Financial Assistance
- Local and National Resources related to COVID-19
- And information about quarantine, isolation and contact tracing.
- University Recreation has remote fitness classes, intramurals, education clinics and webinars.
- Student Involvement hosts virtual events, speakers and conferences you can access remotely.
- The Academic Success and Career Center continues to provide virtual academic and career services for current WSU students and alumni.
- For graduate and post-graduate students, please keep in contact with your specific academic program about academic assistance opportunities and resources.
What's the difference between self-isolation and self-quarantine?
Self-isolation separates those known to be infected, or showing severe symptoms of COVID-19, from those who are not infected. Self-quarantine means staying home if you think your were exposed to someone with COVID-19. Both of these practices follow similar guidelines like distancing from others, maintaining proper hygiene and self-monitoring.
How will I know if I have to self-isolate?
Self-isolation will occur with any positive test, but can also occur after considering the severity of your symptoms and the likelihood of exposure. Depending on where you live—on campus or off—you could be contacted by WSU Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) or your local health authority if you need to self-isolate.
Who is self-isolation for?
Self-isolation is for those believed be infected with COVID-19. This could be with or without a positive test, and will depend on factors like the severity of symptoms and likelihood of exposure.
Where can I self-isolate?
Pullman campus students will self-isolate in McEachern Hall. You will be accommodated with a dedicated bathroom, meal delivery, laundry service and other essential items. WSU staff will assist you in moving your belongings to your temporary assignment if necessary.
Off-campus students on all campuses who can self-isolate at home should do so. Contact local and regional health authorities for isolation support services and guidance. Also, you may contact EH&S if you have questions about available resources in Pullman.
How long does self-isolation last?
If you have confirmed COVID-19 and have symptoms, you can stop your self-isolation when:
- You’ve been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, AND
- Your symptoms have gotten better, AND
- At least 10 days have gone by since your symptoms first appeared.
If you tested positive for COVID-19, but have not had any symptoms, you can stop your self-isolation when:
- At least 10 days have gone by since the date of your first positive COVID-19 test.
- You have not gotten sick with COVID-19.
How will I be supported?
On-campus residents will be supported by EH&S along with other WSU staff who will provide daily check-ins, meal delivery, laundry service and more.
Off-campus residents will contact local and regional health authorities for available resources and guidance on how to self-isolate effectively.
When should I ask for a test?
If you think you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and you’re now showing symptoms (even mild), you can call your healthcare provider. You should self-isolate with a positive test. If you’re not showing symptoms, you don't necessarily need a test, but you should still self-quarantine for 14 days after your last known contact with an infected individual.
Can I go outside?
You may go outdoors but you must wear a mask and cannot interact with others.
What meals are offered during self-isolation from dining services?Here's a quick, generalized rundown of the meals* offered through dining services. You will find a variety of quality nutritious meal options to meet any dietary limitation. The menu of offerings rotates daily.
- Breakfast: Continental and hot breakfast options, featuring breakfast sandwiches, burritos and omelets. Served with fresh fruit, yogurt, breakfast pastry and choice of beverage.
- Lunch: Boxed lunch options, featuring sandwiches, wraps and salads. Served with chips, granola bar and beverage.
- Dinner: Hot entrées from teriyaki beef to citrus glazed tofu. Served with dinner roll, green salad, hot starch and vegetable side, dessert and beverage.
*All menus (breakfast, lunch and dinner) feature options for dietary restrictions, including vegetarian or sensitive stomach.
When should I seek medical attention?
Severe symptoms can result from COVID-19 like trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest or new confusion. If experiencing these or other serious signs and you can safely transport yourself to the ER, call ahead so they can prepare to isolate you when you arrive. If you cannot transport yourself, call 911 immediately.