2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Medical FAQ

Updated April 28, 2020, 10:03 a.m.

Students: If you are staying on campus and develop symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath, please remain in your room and call Bucknell Student Health 570-577-1401 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Do not go directly to Student Health.

For guidance after hours, contact Public Safety at 570-577-3333 or the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 877-724-3258. In an emergency, call 911.

Keep yourself healthy and to limit or slow the spread of COVID-19, follow the CDC guidelines and practice social distancing. Do not gather in large groups, and please self-isolate if feeling ill. 

Quarantine Information

If you show symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in a country, city, locale or event where exposure to COVID-19 is likely, you need to quarantine yourself for 14 days. If you must self-isolate or quarantine, you will not have time or the ability to get supplies.

Bucknell Student Health has created the following resources to help you prepare:

See CDC resources for caring for yourself or family members at home   

Lewisburg-area pharmacies that deliver:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

What is a coronavirus in general?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people.

Read the CDC's COVID-19 summary

What is the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
The 2019 novel coronavirus is a coronavirus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.

How is COVID-19 transmitted?
When person-to-person spread has occurred with other coronavirus types such as MERS and SARS, it is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. Spread of SARS and MERS between people has generally occurred between close contacts.

What are the symptoms?
Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

What is the incubation period?
The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

Is there treatment available for COVID-19?
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 infection. People infected 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 health-care provider immediately.

How can infection be prevented?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus and always practice everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

In addition, the CDC is also currently recommending;

  • Wear a cloth face covering in public settings to avoid spreading COVID-19 to others in case you are infected but do not have symptoms.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are considered critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders, as recommended by CDC.
  • The cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing (keeping about 6 feet between yourself and others).

Where can I find more information about novel coronavirus?
Please visit the CDC's resource page for more details.

What about travel to other countries? 
Please visit the CDC's coronavirus information for travelers page for up-to-date information. 

Where can I find answers to questions related to COVID-19 and study abroad?
Please direct all questions regarding Bucknell students in study abroad programs to the Office of Global & Off-campus Education at globaled@bucknell.edu or 570-577-3796.

Risk Assessment

Who is at risk of getting COVID-19?
This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. Please refer to the CDC for updated information on risk assessment.

See the CDC's COVID-19 summary for information on risk of exposure vs. risk of serious illness and death

Who should be tested for COVID-19?
Those who have called ahead to a health provider will be assessed and directed for testing as determined appropriate by local, state and federal health authorities based upon current testing guidelines. 

What is Bucknell doing in response to the current reports of COVID-19?
The University continues to work closely with Bucknell Student Health, pertinent campus partners, local health facilities, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and federal health agencies regarding COVID-19 in order to protect our campus community.

How is Bucknell assessing persons with exposure concerns?
In accordance with CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health recommendations, all patients seeking treatment/guidance for fever and respiratory illnesses from Bucknell Student Health are asked to call 570-577-1401 so that a risk assessment can be performed. Do not go directly to Student Health. The risk assessment will entail questions about symptoms, contacts and travel history.

Identifying and Treating COVID-19

What happens if a student or employee thinks they might have COVID-19?
A student or employee who believes they are experiencing symptoms (fever, coughing and shortness of breath) should restrict their activities on campus.

  • Students: If a student experiences symptoms while at home, we ask that you remain at home until your symptoms are cleared by a medical professional. Tell your health-care professional about your recent travel or contact. Your health-care professional will work with your state's public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

    If your symptoms present when you are on campus, we ask that you isolate yourself to the extent possible and notify your professors of your planned absence from remote classes.

    Please do not attend events on or off campus.

    Call ahead to Student Health at 570-577-1401 or another health-care professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread. A staff member will ask you screening questions to determine whether testing is necessary. Do not go to Student Health.

    Should Student Health decide that screening for COVID-19 is necessary, Bucknell Public Safety will transport the student to a local hospital, where medical professionals in consultation with the county department of health will determine if a COVID-19 test is warranted.

See CDC guidelines for further information on what to do if you get sick with COVID-19

  • Bucknell employees: Bucknell employees with similar concerns should contact their personal health-care provider and their Bucknell supervisor.

    Consult your personal health-care provider about your symptoms.

    Contact your direct supervisor regarding work attendance.

    Employees are also encouraged to contact Human Resources to ensure proper pay and coordination of benefits in the event of absence from work.   

Read the CDC's COVID-19 summary

What precautions is Bucknell taking to prevent virus transmission? 
We are reminding members of the community about the actions that they can take for their own safety by increasing campus signage with health reminders, including in bathrooms, residence halls and high-traffic areas.

We have increased the number of hand sanitizer dispensers in high-traffic areas throughout campus.

We continue to maintain our customary high level of sanitation, which includes cleaning hard surfaces with a disinfectant that kills 99% of bacteria. 

We continue our cleaning schedule with the Kenneth Langone Athletics Recreation Center (six days a week) and the Elaine Langone Center (seven days a week). 

We are increasing cleaning frequency of residential spaces to six days a week, and increasing cleaning frequency of non-residential spaces as well.

Frequent messages to campus promote healthy habits that discourage the spread of germs.

How and where will Bucknell provide support for resident students who present with possible symptoms of COVID-19?
Bucknell will work closely with local health officials to provide support for a student who presents with symptoms that may be diagnosed as COVID-19 and to identify any other members of the campus community who may have been in contact with the individual. In coordination with local health officials, Bucknell will assist students to seek testing for COVID-19 and appropriate treatment.

Bucknell is currently evaluating all resources that may be available to provide isolated spaces for individuals to recover from their symptoms and to avoid further exposure to the community.  

If someone on campus tests positive, will Bucknell close?
Bucknell will operate in the best interest of the health and safety of the campus community and with the guidance of local health officials and the CDC. Bucknell is planning for a range of options in the event that a positive case of COVID-19 is diagnosed on campus.