COVID-19

COVID-19 FAQs

What is coronavirus/COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China, and which has now been found in almost 70 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

What is the latest information regarding COVID-19 testing?

COVID-19 Testing: What you need to know
You may be hearing about new tests available that can determine if you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus. There are several types of tests that are being offered and studied at this time, but most are not yet recommended or available for everyone. We will keep students updated on test development, and if routine testing becomes available and recommended for our student health center.

There are some COVID-19 tests that try to identify pieces of the COVID-19 virus, other tests that measure antibodies that can hint at exposure to COVID-19, but cannot yet prove immunity or resistance to the virus. The links below, provided by LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics describe details of each test provided by each laboratory.

LabCorp COVID-19 Testing Options

Quest Diagnostics COVID-19 Information and Test Options

Students experiencing symptoms seen with COVID such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath are advised to call the Klotz Student Health Center at 818 677-3666 and they will be advised of next best steps. Other symptoms such as sore throat, body aches, and loss of sense of taste and/or smell, plus headache, nausea, and gastrointestinal disturbances have also been reported in some cases.
COVID-19 testing at the SHC is currently limited to student patients as per their clinician’s clinical judgment.

Los Angeles County Testing: What you need to know
The City of Los Angeles, in partnership with the County of Los Angeles and CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), is providing free drive-up mobile COVID-19 testing to Los Angeles County residents.
For the general public, testing is currently available only for people with symptoms, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms can now book a same or next day appointment.
For certain high risk individuals, such as healthcare professionals on the front-lines, testing is available even if without experiencing symptoms.

The County of Los Angeles is now offering free drive-up mobile testing to symptomatic persons on a priority basis.
Testing is available for any workers in the following categories, with or without symptoms of COVID-19:

  • First responders
  • Critical government personnel
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Grocery workers
  • Delivery, rideshare, and public transit drivers
  • Credentialed members of the media

Complete information on appointment scheduling, locations, and preparing for the test can be found here.

For the latest information, please visit:

CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Summary

County of Los Angeles Public Health COVID-19

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19

How does it spread?

The virus is thought to spread mainly person-to-person:

• Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
• Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).

Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

What are the symptoms of this infection?

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

• Fever
• Cough
• Shortness of breath

If you have symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath, call your doctor or the Klotz Student Health Center at 818-677-3666, and then press Option 1.

What do I do if I feel sick?

If you have symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath, call your doctor or the Klotz Student Health Center at 818-677-3666, and then press Option 1.

Wear a mask if you have symptoms and must leave your home per your doctor’s instructions.

Avoid crowds and public transportation.

If you are sick, you should not attend class or work to ensure your own recovery and reduce the chance of infecting others.

How do I help prevent the spread of viruses, including coronavirus?

To reduce the chances of COVID-19 infection, experts recommend the following preventative measures:

• Frequent and complete hand washing for at least 20 seconds.
• Stop shaking hands with others to reduce the spread of germs.
• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
• Sneeze and cough into a tissue or your sleeve. Wash hands thoroughly and safely throw away used tissues.
• Do not come in close contact with anyone else if you are ill, and do not share eating utensils, toothbrushes, etc. with others.

Though COVID-19 is not influenza, public health authorities also are recommending that, if you have not gotten the flu vaccine this season, getting immunized against flu may keep you and your immune system healthier and better able to resist COVID-19.

What are the current isolation and quarantine recommendations?

  • Healthcare providers should instruct all symptomatic patients (presumed or confirmed) to provide all of their close contacts (including household members, intimate partners and caregivers) with home quarantine instructions.
  • Persons who are asymptomatic and are not close contacts to a presumed or confirmed case may be given the What to do if I’m exposed handout.

Testing
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) continues to urge healthcare providers to refrain from testing patients with mild symptoms who can be managed at home.

In the setting of widespread community transmission, anyone with signs or symptoms of viral respiratory tract infection should be presumed to have COVID-19 and immediately isolate themselves, following home isolation instructions. Prompt medical care should be sought if your symptoms get worse, especially if you are at a higher risk of serious illness. This includes people who are age 65 years and older, pregnant or have a health problem such as a chronic disease or a weak immune system.

Risk
Per the LACDPH:

  1. Patients with presumed or confirmed COVID-19 should be instructed to isolate themselves and follow home isolation instructions. Symptomatic patients awaiting COVID-19 test results should be presumed infectious and instructed to continue to follow home isolation instructions regardless of a negative result. (red zone)
  2. Symptomatic patients (presumed or confirmed) should provide all of their Close Contacts (including household members, intimate partners, and caregivers) with home quarantine instructions. Close contacts (yellow zone) should follow these instructions for 14 days after their last contact with the Patient in #1.
  3. Contacts of the contacts (green zone) are at low or no risk from the patient in category #1 unless the contacts in the yellow zone become symptomatic/or are diagnosed with COVID-19. If the contact in category #2 becomes symptomatic or is diagnosed with COVID-19, their contacts move into the yellow zone and should self-quarantine. Persons who are asymptomatic and are not close contacts to a presumed or confirmed case may reference the What to do if I’m exposed handout.

Will CSUN cancel classes or close campus?

Following the best information and guidance available from federal, state and local officials, CSUN will continue virtual instruction through the Summer Term, which begins May 26. Next week, we will communicate updates on summer offerings. All faculty, staff and students should plan on the potential of virtual instruction and operations continuing through the end of Summer Term, ending August 18, and possibly into the fall semester. No final decision has been made for the Fall 2020 semester; we will continue to monitor the situation daily based upon the best evidence and public health guidance available. Our goal is that we will return to normal campus operations as soon as it is safe to do so.

CSUN’s campus remains open to maintain essential operations including, but not limited to, Student Housing and related food service, the Klotz Student Health Center, Information Technology in support of virtual and alternate learning modalities, maintenance of laboratories conducting research, fiscal and payroll services, and ensuring the physical safety and security of campus. Limited face-to-face student services will continue to be available, as well as offered virtually. Students should call or email the specific student service office prior to coming to campus.

Services across CSUN will be offered virtually to the extent possible, and face-to-face services will be very limited. Faculty researchers and Principal Investigators should consider the necessity of on-campus research and implement plans to operate remotely, immediately, to the greatest extent possible. Essential access, limited to sustaining research capability, will be authorized by the Office of the Provost in coordination with Deans.

Otherwise, the library and USU, including the Student Recreation Center and Oasis Wellness Center, are closed.

Are campus events, visits, tours and information sessions being affected at this time?

Numerous campus events are transitioning to virtual formats or being postponed/canceled. Many student clubs and organizations will find ways to provide opportunities for engagement virtually and while maintaining social distancing. Student are encouraged to visit MataSync at https://csun.campuslabs.com/engage/news for the latest updates.

Tours and information sessions are cancelled until further notice. To learn more about the campus, you can take an online tour.

Commencement and Honors Convocation exercises have been postponed until late fall 2020. Information and updates about these events will be provided at https://www.csun.edu/commencement, including information on refunds. Graduating students are also invited to share ideas about appropriate ways to provide for the recognition of graduates given the limitations imposed by COVID-19.

I’m hosting an event on campus. Should I cancel it?

Consistent with the "safer at home" order, events should be transitioned to virtual formats, postponed or canceled.

Where can students who are in need of support services access resources?

Generally speaking, all student services units within the Division of Student Affairs are available to respond to your needs Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Most services will be provided remotely with a minimum level of on-campus services. Where absolutely necessary to comply with COVID-19 policies, some services have been suspended at this time. Please visit the following websites for latest updates on how to access services provided.

The Klotz Student Health Center is open. Information concerning services and hours of operation is available online at https://www.csun.edu/shc.

University Counseling Services is open with counseling services provided remotely. Visit the department website at https://www.csun.edu/counseling/update-ucs-services to learn more about services available at this time.

The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office will be providing counseling and other services online with limited in-office assistance. See website at https://www.csun.edu/financialaid for current information on access to services.

The Career Center has a suite of services available to students online through CareerLink. Visit the Career Center website at https://www.csun.edu/career.

Student Housing and Residential Services is in the process of communicating with students about the need to move off campus in an effort to increase social distancing and decrease the possibility for COVID-19 spread. All residents are being individually notified, and accommodations will be made for a limited number of students whose circumstances require that they reside in Student Housing.

Disability Resources and Educational Services will continue to provide accommodation support and disability management services remotely. Contact the department though its website at https://www.csun.edu/dres/ for information on how services will be provided at this time.

The National Center on Deafness (NCOD): Deaf and Hard of Hearing Student Services will continue to provide communications access services. For information on service delivery during this period of virtual instruction, visit the NCOD website at https://www.csun.edu/ncod.

The University Student Union (USU), including the Student Recreation Center (SRC), serves as a major hub for student connection and interaction. Several programs will now be offered virtually, including fitness and exercise, as well as remote access to the Pride Center and Veterans Resource Center. As indicated above, the Computer Lab will be open and available at designated times. Given the need to practice social distancing, some events, programs and services will not be available at this time, including the SRC and the Oasis. Information on services and hours of operation is available at https://www.csun.edu/usu.

Many Associated Students programs, activities and services will be provided remotely. Find information on services and hours of operation at https://www.csun.edu/as. Note the AS Senate will continue to meet though video conferencing and student leaders can be reached by email. Students are encouraged to sign-up for the Weekly AS Bulletin to receive updates. Watch for information on AS and USU Board Elections, which will be conducted online. In alignment with current COVID-19 restrictions, some services have been suspended including the Children’s Center, Farmers Market and Outdoor Adventures.

Should faculty and other academic personnel ask students returning to class following an illness to provide documentation or physician’s note?

Instructors are strongly discouraged from requiring medical or legal documentation from a student for any absences. Requiring such documentation places burdens on all parties involved. Because we are in the middle of the cold and flu season, many students may be absent due to illness.

Is CSUN or the CSU restricting travel to other countries or locations?

All international travel sponsored by the university and its auxiliaries has been suspended through July 31, 2020. Travel has also been suspended for non-essential domestic travel. These restrictions also apply to university-sponsored travel being undertaken by students, faculty and staff.

Are there resources for combating stigmatization, bias and xenophobia related to the coronavirus?

Many of us are concerned about what the people in our communities may be experiencing, including possible stigmatization or discrimination based on racial bias or appearances. Please help others understand that the risk of coronavirus is not at all connected with race, ethnicity or nationality. Any bias incidents should be reported to the Office of Equity and Diversity.

What resources exist for students, faculty and staff who are new to virtual learning and working remotely?

For faculty, the Information Keep Teaching webpage and the Faculty Development Teaching Through Disruption page provide helpful resources. Information Technology also developed additional tools for students to Keep Learning and staff to Keep Working.  There are also options for Internet Connectivity for Users Who Do Not Have It.

Moving out and Cancelling your housing contract:

  • You may move out at any time convenient to you, there is no deadline. The move out and cancellation process is 100% on-line, and your keys will be deactivated so you do not need to turn your keys in.
  • Go to https://www.csun.edu/housing/apply and submit a Request for Release Form to cancel your contract and checkout of your space
  • If you are not able to physically come to campus to collect your personal items now, please complete the online process by indicating you are leaving personal items in your assigned space. This will allow us to cancel your contract. We will notify you via email with instructions on how you can pick up your items at a future time.
  • Refunds for cancellations may take a couple of weeks to be processed. The refund process will be initiated by your completion of the on-line cancellation and move out process.

If You Need to Stay In Student Housing

  • Let us know you are going to continue living in CSUN Student Housing by logging into your housing portal at https://www.csun.edu/housing/apply and following instructions for remaining in Student Housing.

We know this is a stressful time, our staff are here to answer any questions you may have – call 818-677-2160 or email us at housing@csun.edu.

How to Cancel Meal Plan (If you decide to move out)

After you have submitted your Housing cancellation request, please fill out the online meal plan cancellation form as soon as possible https://www.csun.edu/csundining/mp-cancellationrequest.

If you have any Meal Plan questions, please feel free to contact us at mealplan@csun.edu or by phone at (818) 677-2655.

Where can I find more information about the status of campus facilities?

Please review this modified campus map for the latest updates on the status of campus facilities. All limited access and open buildings will be opened at 7 a.m. and locked at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Employees needing to access locked, secured buildings should contact their supervisor to ensure they are authorized and issued the appropriate keys/codes. Employees accessing these buildings are asked to notify Department of Police Services (DPS) dispatch at 818-677-2111 in advance.

Are there any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the CSUN community?

Updated March 25, 2020 at 3:13 p.m.
We learned today that there are three members of the CSUN campus community with COVID-19 — two cases confirmed by medical professionals and one reported diagnosis to CSUN. Our thoughts are with each of the affected individuals as they receive the medical care they need.
The cases involve an employee, who had been on campus in the past week, and two students, who have not been on campus recently and reside in a neighboring county. Consistent with the protocols for infectious disease response, anyone identified as having had close contact with these individuals have been or will be notified immediately if they need to be isolated or self-monitor. Facilities that have been visited by the employee have been closed and will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
Across Southern California and at CSUN, we are moving into a phase where there will be more cases of COVID-19, which underscores the measures CSUN has already implemented to increase physical space of six feet or more for our campus community. This social distancing, combined with thorough hand-washing, cleaning surfaces and other hygiene measures, will help us reduce the spread of COVID-19.

What information is available about food safety and COVID-19?

The following resources address food safety and COVID-19.

Q: Is the U.S. food supply safe?
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. Unlike foodborne gastrointestinal (GI) viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A that often make people ill through contaminated food, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus that causes respiratory illness. Foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. This includes between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. However, it’s always critical to follow the 4 key steps of food safety — clean, separate, cook, and chill – to prevent foodborne illness.”
For more information, visit the FDA Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website.

Q: Can I catch the coronavirus by eating food handled or prepared by others?
The following information is provided by Harvard Health Publishing - Harvard Medical School’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

“We are still learning about transmission of the new coronavirus. It's not clear if it can be spread by an infected person through food they have handled or prepared, but if so it would more likely be the exception than the rule."

That said, the new coronavirus is a respiratory virus known to spread by upper respiratory secretions, including airborne droplets after coughing or sneezing. The virus that causes COVID-19 has also been detected in the stool of certain people. So we currently cannot rule out the possibility of the infection being transmitted through food by an infected person who has not thoroughly washed their hands. In the case of hot food, the virus would likely be killed by cooking. This may not be the case with uncooked foods like salads or sandwiches.”