As we prepare to return from the winter break, we would like to provide reminders about what to do before you return to begin the spring semester. 

North Carolina continues to experience a high volume of influenza (flu), as do other parts of the country. Two other respiratory illnesses, COVID and RSV, are also prevalent in many places. As you travel and prepare to rejoin our community for the spring semester, it will be important to remain vigilant about the spread of those illnesses in the community and do all you can to stay healthy.

Tips for a healthy return:

  • Masks remain an effective personal strategy to mitigate the risk of spreading germs and contracting viruses. Consider wearing a mask when attending large public gatherings or on public transportation such as airplanes and airports. 
  • Avoid being around people who are actively ill. 
  • If you are eligible, get your flu shot and an updated fall/winter COVID booster. Remember that vaccines typically take around two weeks to become effective, so continue to be cautious during that time.

If you are ill when it is time to return for the spring semester: 

  • Do not return to campus while you are actively ill:
    • For the flu, COVID, RSV, etc., remain at home or away from campus until your symptoms are improved and until you have not had a fever (without using fever-reducing medications) for 24 hours. For more information, visit the Deacon Health website.
    • For gastrointestinal illnesses such as noroviruses, individuals may remain contagious for up to two days after their symptoms have resolved. Consequently, they should avoid returning to campus until that time.
    • People who test positive for COVID-19 should follow the CDC guidelines for isolation and masking. At-home test kits are effective and widely available. 

If you become ill after you return for the spring semester, contact Deacon Health or your primary care physician for evaluation.

Thank you for your continued partnership as we seek to mitigate the potential for illness within our community so that we can have a wonderful spring semester together.

– Campus Health Committee, chaired by Warrenetta Mann, Assistant Vice President for Health and Wellbeing