Testing and Positive Cases

COVID-19 Face Coverings/Masks Policy Update


What to do if someone you know tests positive for COVID-19

Learn about the measures you should take if someone you know tests positive, including determining whether or not you were a close contact and how your actions should change if you are fully vaccinated, boosted, or recovered from COVID-19.

Testing

Free, on-campus COVID-19 testing for students is offered at IUP Health Service when classes are in session. Testing for the fall 2022 semester will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, starting August 22. Testing is available on an appointment or walk-in basis.

The IUP Health Service is located in the Suites on Maple East (901 Maple Street). 

Testing is a saliva-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Testing results will be sent within 24 to 48 hours to the email that was used to register for the test.

Testing for students who are asymptomatic (students who do not have any symptoms of COVID-19)—including for students who have traveled; who need testing for work, clinical, or internship sites; or who have been a close contact of a positive student: appointments should be made through the Health Service portal.

If you cannot visit IUP Health Service, you can take advantage of community resources for COVID-19 testing and care.

Individuals should not report to work, class, or clinical assignments and should not attend or participate in institution-sponsored activities or events if they are not feeling well.

Follow these steps to schedule an appointment with IUP Health Service:

  • Log in to the Health Service portal.

  • Choose Schedule an appointment and follow the steps on the screen.

  • The test is a saliva test. Do not wear lipstick or Chapstick, smoke/vape, chew tobacco, drink anything including water, or eat 60 minutes before your appointment. Failure to follow these guidelines will cause testing to be delayed.

For symptomatic testing: Regardless of exposure or vaccination status, students who have symptoms of COVID-19 should call the IUP Health Service at 724-357-2550 to make an appointment for testing.

A number of free testing options are available in the local community:

  • CVS and Rite Aid offer free, appointment-based COVID-19 testing. Same-day appointments can be scheduled on each provider’s website.

  • MedExpress on Oakland Avenue also offers rapid and PCR COVID-19 testing options for students who have health insurance.

  • IRMC’s drive-through COVID-19 testing options are available with orders from healthcare providers only. Students should contact their primary care physician for this option.

  • Individuals can schedule a telemedicine visit with IRMC UrgiCare if they have a need for COVID-19 testing. Personnel are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Sunday by calling  724-459-1740. 

Employees should contact their primary care physician regarding testing needs and options. For questions, call IUP Health Service at 724-357-2550.

If You Are a Close Contact of a COVID-19 Positive Individual

Close Contact Definition

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines “close contact” as being within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, starting from two days before the onset of symptoms (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, should follow self-isolation requirements and recommendations according to CDC guidelines, updated on August 11:

If you were exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 or have been told by a healthcare provider or public health authority that you were exposed, here are the steps that you should take, regardless of your vaccination status or if you have had a previous infection.

Learn how COVID-19 spreads and the factors that make the risk of spread higher or lower.

Immediately start precautions. Because you can still develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after you have been exposed (and could spread it to others), wear a mask as soon as you find out you were exposed for 10 full days.

The CDC recommends a high-quality mask or respirator any time you are around others inside your home or indoors in public

  • Start counting from day 1. Day 0 is the day of your last exposure to someone with COVID-19; day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure

  • Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask, including travel and public transportation settings.

  • Take extra precautions if you will be around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

  • Watch for symptoms, which may include fever (100.4°F or greater); cough; shortness of breath; or other COVID-19 symptoms

  • On Day 6/at least five full days after your last exposure, get tested—even if you don’t develop symptoms. (If you already had COVID-19 within the past 90 days, see specific testing recommendations.)

  • If you test negative, continue taking precautions through day 10, which means continue to wear a high-quality mask when around others at home and indoors in public

If you develop symptoms, self-isolate immediately and get tested. Stay home and isolated until you know the results.

If You Test Positive for COVID-19

Regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate yourself immediately from others when you have COVID-19. You can still develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after you have been exposed.

On-campus self-isolation rooms are available to students who test positive for COVID-19, or who are presumed positive and waiting on test results. The IUP Health Service will provide options to students who have been recommended to self-isolate; those options include self-isolating in their current living spaces or in self-isolation rooms on campus.

If you test positive for COVID-19:

  • Stay home for at least five days and self-isolate from others in your home, including a separate bathroom from others, if at all possible. You are likely most infectious during these first five days.

  • Wear a high-quality mask if you must be around others at home and in public.

  • Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask.

  • Do not travel.

  • Take steps to improve ventilation at home, if possible.

  • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.

Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (like trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately. Learn more about what to do if you have COVID-19.

Ending Isolation

You can end isolation based on how serious your COVID-19 symptoms were.

If you had no symptoms, you may end isolation after day 5.

If you had symptoms, you may end isolation after day 5 if:

  • You are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication)

  • Your symptoms are improving

If you still have fever or your other symptoms have not improved, continue to isolate until they improve.

If you had moderate illness (if you experienced shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing), or severe illness (you were hospitalized) due to COVID-19, or you have a weakened immune system, you need to isolate through day 10.

If you had severe illness or have a weakened immune system, consult your doctor before ending isolation. Ending isolation without a viral test may not be an option for you.

If you are unsure if your symptoms are moderate or severe or if you have a weakened immune system, talk to a healthcare provider for further guidance.

Regardless of when you end isolation, avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 until at least day 11. Remember to wear a high-quality mask when indoors around others at home and in public and not go places where you are unable to wear a mask until you are able to discontinue masking (see below), including public transportation and travel settings.

Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.

Removing Your Mask

After you have ended isolation, when you are feeling better (no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms improving), you should wear your mask through day 10.

If you have access to antigen tests, you should consider using them. With two sequential negative tests 48 hours apart, you may remove your mask sooner than day 10.

Note: If your antigen test results are positive, you may still be infectious. You should continue wearing a mask and wait at least 48 hours before taking another test. Continue taking antigen tests at least 48 hours apart until you have two sequential negative results. This may mean you need to continue wearing a mask and testing beyond day 10.

After you have ended isolation, if your COVID-19 symptoms recur or worsen, restart your isolation at day 0. Talk to a healthcare provider if you have questions about your symptoms or when to end isolation.

On-campus self-isolation rooms are available to students who test positive for COVID-19, or who are presumed positive and waiting on test results. The IUP Health Service will provide options to students who have been recommended to self-isolate; those options include self-isolating in their current living spaces or in self-isolation rooms on campus.

Individuals who develop symptoms compatible with COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should be evaluated by a healthcare provider and tested as appropriate. Please follow the procedures for testing of symptomatic students: call the IUP Health Service at 724-357-2550 to make an appointment.

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing (getting information from and to people who may have been exposed to a positive COVID-19 individual) is essential to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. 

If you have been identified as a "close contact" of a COVID-19-positive person, you will be contacted via text from IUP. The text message will come from “IUP COVID-19 Close Contact Alert” and will advise you to contact IUP Health Service for instruction and additional testing. You may also be contacted by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Exposure Notification App

Pennsylvania now has a COVID-19 exposure notification mobile app, COVID Alert PA, available for download free through the Apple App store and Google Play store. The app can detect if a user has had close contact with another app user who later tested positive for COVID-19. When that occurs, users will receive through their phones a notification and guidance on what to do next. Designed to be anonymous, the app does not track location or collect personal information. Learn more: “Wolf Administration Launches COVID Alert PA App.” Download the app: COVID Alert PA App.

When There Is a Confirmed Positive Case

When a COVID-19 test is confirmed positive at the IUP Health Service:

  • The Pennsylvania Department of Health will be notified.

  • Contact tracing will be started.

  • Self-isolation needs will be determined.

  • If on-campus accommodations are needed, the Health Service and the Office of Housing, Residential Living, and Dining will coordinate efforts and determine those needs.

  • Students will be given resources and information pertaining to self-isolation, including the following:

  • The Health Service will make daily (Monday–Friday) phone calls to those in self-isolation. Telehealth visits will be available when needed.

  • The Health Service will coordinate when students can discontinue self-isolation.

  • If student testing is done at another location when the Health Service is closed, self-isolation accommodations can be coordinated by University Police and Housing.

  • IUP will report positive cases on this website while protecting the privacy of individuals.

When a Student Has a Positive COVID-19 Test and Must Miss Classes

  • It is up to individual students if they want to notify their faculty member (1) that they have tested positive for COVID-19 and/or (2) that they are in self-isolation.

  • Contact tracing for COVID-19-positive students will be completed by University Safety and the IUP Health Service based on the COVID-19-positive student’s information about who has been a close contact. Students who believe they have been a close contact with a student that they know is COVID-19 positive should contact the IUP Health Service for advice on testing.

  • As is recommended for any class absence, students should inform their faculty member(s) of their expected absence and discuss options to complete classwork being missed during that time period.

  • If the IUP Health Service authorizes a student to discontinue self-isolation and return to class, the Health Service will provide this student with written authorization that can be shown to faculty members. This authorization will indicate that the student has completed the required time in self-isolation and is able to return to class. This is the case only when a student seeks care from the IUP Health Service. If a student seeks care from an off-campus provider, the student should obtain this authorization to return to class from that health care provider.

  • Students are not required to have a return-to-class note for all illnesses, but students are required to be fever free for 24 hours after having the flu before returning to class.

  • If a faculty member requests a return-to-class note and the student was treated or seen in the IUP Health Service, the Health Service will give that student a return-to-class/work/practice note once the student is fever free.

Counseling Services

The IUP Counseling Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. when classes are in session. The Counseling Center is available by phone (724-357-2621) or email (counseling-center@iup.edu) Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. In your email, write, “Hi, I'm interested in scheduling an appointment. You will receive a response from the department secretary with scheduling options. Visit the Counseling Center web page for more information and helpful mental health resources related to COVID-19.

In case of an emergency, or outside of traditional business hours, students should call 911 or contact University Police at 724-357-2141, or call the Armstrong-Indiana Crisis Hotline at 1-877-333-2470.

Seeking Medical Care in the Community

Outside of traditional business hours, or for emergency care, students should visit the Indiana Regional Medical Center’s emergency department or call 911 (9-911 if on campus). There are blue emergency phones at both ends of the Center for Health and Well-Being on the corner of Pratt Drive and Maple Street. These phones automatically connect to University Police (no dialing required).

For non-emergency health needs, MedExpress Urgent Care is a full-service, walk-in clinic. With a full medical team, they provide fast, effective treatment for most injuries and illnesses.

MedExpress Urgent Care Center
2128 Oakland Avenue Indiana, PA
724-349-4362
Open daily 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Minute Clinic: The medical clinic in CVS Pharmacy
2501 Warren Road, Indiana, PA
1-866-389-2727

Coordination with Local Public Health Officials

The Pennsylvania Department of Health Indiana County State Health Center (724-357-2995) is the first point of contact for coordination and guidance regarding all COVID-19 concerns. For questions or concerns that cannot wait until the next business day, call 1-877-PA-HEALTH. The Pennsylvania Department of Health will work with the Bureau of Epidemiology staff to provide guidance on isolation, contact identification, quarantine, cleaning, or any other concerns.

IUP leadership is communicating and coordinating efforts with Indiana County health agencies to keep IUP and the community at large informed and protected during the pandemic. President Michael Driscoll represents IUP on a county planning task force committed to working together to make the best choices for the community.