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 may indicate that you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus. There are several types of tests that are available at the SHC at this time with a doctor’s order, but their accuracy and clinical value vary. These tests are typically recommended for individuals with COVID-19 symptoms or close contacts of persons with COVID. We will keep students updated on test development and recommendations as research on test accuracy and value continues.

Some COVID-19 tests, which usually require swabbing the nose or mouth, may identify pieces of the COVID-19 virus. Other tests measure antibodies to coronaviruses from a blood sample that can hint that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, but cannot yet prove immunity or resistance to the virus. The links below, provided by LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics, describe details about each laboratory’s tests.

LabCorp COVID-19 Testing Options

Quest Diagnostics COVID-19 Information and Test Options

Students experiencing symptoms seen with COVID such as fever at or over 100.4 F, 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 non-chronic 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. Please call the SHC for an appointment with a clinician at the number above.

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. Testing may also be indicated without symptoms in people living or working in high-density setting.

The County of Los Angeles is now offering free drive-up mobile testing to symptomatic persons on a priority basis. For more information, please go to: https://covid19.lacounty.gov/testing/
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 isolate as per the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) and to provide all of their close contacts (including household members, intimate partners and caregivers) with home quarantine instructions.
  • LACDPH encourages physicians to test symptomatic patients and encourage testing of close contacts of confirmed cases of COVID-19.

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 have a condition that puts you at higher risk. This includes people who are age 65 years and older, are pregnant, or have a health problem such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, weak immune function, etc.

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. Close contacts who are tested and positive for COVID-19, should remain in isolation until 3 days after all their symptoms are gone, and at least ten days after the positive test.
  3. Contacts of uninfected 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.
  • From June 2, 2020, LACDPH:

    The term “close contact” refers to any of the following people who were exposed to a patient with presumed or confirmed COVID-19 while they were infectious*:

    a) A household member, intimate contact, or caregiver,

    b) An individual who was within 6 feet of the patient for more than 15 minutes,

    c) An individual who had unprotected contact with the patient’s body fluids and/or secretions, for example, being coughed or sneezed on, sharing utensils or saliva, or providing care without wearing appropriate protective equipment.

    *A patient with COVID-19 is considered to be infectious from 48 hours before their symptoms started until their isolation period ends (as described in the Home Isolation Instructions). Asymptomatic patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection are considered to be infectious from 48 hours before their test was taken until 10 days after their test was taken.

    Students with questions about COVID-19 and testing should call their doctor of the Klotz SHC at the number above. Employees with questions about COVID-19 and testing should call their doctor or healthcare provider/facility.
    CSUN continues to monitor ongoing research and recommendations from national and local public health agencies to implement safety protocols on campus to promote the health and wellness of our students, faculty, and staff. We wish good health to all of our community and beyond.

Will CSUN cancel classes or close campus?

On May 12, California State University Chancellor Timothy White shared that courses on CSU campuses this fall will be offered primarily through virtual learning due to the current and anticipated impacts of COVID-19. Each campus will evaluate curricula to determine if limited exceptions for in-person activities will be possible. At CSUN, we will continue our planning for fall instruction using the framework outlined by Chancellor White in consultation with our campus partners and the Academic Affairs Task Force, so that we continue to deliver transformative educational opportunities in a safe and responsible manner. With the health and safety of students, faculty and staff at the forefront of our preparations, we will explore the possibility of supplementing the virtual offerings with a limited number of face-to-face courses and labs that require in-person experiences. Any exception to virtual learning will have significant preventative health measures and contingency plans in place should we need to shift to alternate modalities. More information about CSUN’s plans for the fall semester will be shared in the coming weeks.

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 transitioned to virtual formats or were postponed or canceled. Many student clubs and organizations 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.

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.

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.

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 May 1, 2020
We are saddened to learn that another CSUN employee has tested positive for COVID-19. Our thoughts are with this member of our campus community, who has not been on campus in more than a week. Consistent with the protocols for infectious disease response, anyone identified as having had close contact with this individual has been or will be notified immediately if they need to be isolated, self-monitor or self-quarantine.



Updated April 24, 2020
We are saddened to share that a CSUN employee has tested positive for COVID-19. Our thoughts are with this member of our campus community, who has not been on campus in more than a week. Consistent with the protocols for infectious disease response, anyone identified as having had close contact with this individual has been or will be notified immediately if they need to be isolated, self-monitor or self-quarantine.



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.”