FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Augusta University Student Health Services

  • Appointments: 706-721-3448
  • Website: www.augusta.edu/shs 
    • Information on immunization compliance, student health insurance, clinic services, hours of operation, electronic forms, information about Student Health Advisory Council (SHAC), and comprehensive resources and videos on a variety of health topics, including COVID-19.
  • General email:   studenthealth@augusta.edu
  • COVID-19 email: Report Positives and Eposures: REPORTSTUDENTCOVID@augusta.edu
  • Hours of operation: Mondays through Fridays. The Clinic provides early morning and extended hours during Fall and Spring semesters to assist students who are unable to miss classes. Students are urged to check the website for updated hours.
  • Location: Health Sciences Campus, Pavilion 2, corner of Laney Walker Blvd and Hospital Access Road. A limited number of dedicated, two-hour parking spaces is available near Pavilion 2, for use by patients while being seen at the Clinic.

 

1. How can I access the services provided at the Student Health Clinic?

Based on current CDC COVID-19 guidelines for outpatient medical offices, until further notice, the Student Health Clinic will operate under the following conditions:

  • Appointments are required. Call 706-721-3448 to schedule appointment with a nurse, nurse practitioner, physician, psychiatrist, or registered dietitian.
    • Students without an appointment should call the phone number on the entrance door sign before entering the Clinic.   Based on symptoms, a future appointment will be arranged, possibly for the same day either as telehealth or in-person.
    • Persons with COVID-19 symptoms will be screened over the phone by the triage nurse and referred to call the AU-Health hotline 706-721-1895to schedule an appointment at a local drive through testing site.
  • Students are required to wear their own face covering prior to entering the Clinic.
  • To ensure appropriate social distancing in the waiting area, patients may not have family members or friends accompany them inside the Clinic, except for urgent conditions where the student requires personal assistance (e.g., ambulation).
  • All patients presenting to the Student Health Clinic, regardless of the reason for the visit, will be screened for fever and respiratory symptoms at the time of arrival. Persons with respiratory symptoms or fever will immediately be brought back to a dedicated exam room and screened by a nurse. The clinical provider will evaluate the patient and if applicable, order appropriate medical diagnostic tests.

2.  What type of care is available after hours?

  • If non-emergency care is needed after hours including weekends and holidays, all students have the option of using 24/7 telehealth via the USG-sponsored United Health Student Health Insurance plan. There is no charge for students covered by United Health Care student insurance plan and only $40 per visit for those with other insurance or no insurance. Telepsychiatry is also available for a nominal charge. More information, go to: https://www.telehelp4students.com/
  • For emergencies, call 911.
  • Locations of urgent/prompt care centers and hospitals in the Augusta Area.

 3. What services are provided at the Augusta University Student Health Clinic?

Appointments are required by calling 706-721-3448.

  • Routine primary care
  • Gender-based care
  • Psychiatry
  • Laboratory [in-house tests: pregnancy, flu, strep, mono, urinalysis, others]
  • Vaccines [DTP, flu, hepatitis B, MMR, others]
  • TB testing [PPD skin test, blood test]
  • Dietitian evaluations
  • Physical therapy
  • Travel medicine
  • Get Yourself Tested – nurse directed STI testing – Friday mornings starting Fall Semester

4. What does the Student Health Fee cover? 

The Student Health Fee provides Augusta University students enrolled in the current semester with unlimited office visits to see a physician, nurse practitioner, or nurse applicable for most services provided at the Student Health Clinic. There is a nominal charge for lab tests, vaccines, office procedures, medications, and a few other specialty services. There is no out-of-pocket costs for students who are covered by the USG endorsed student health insurance plan by United Healthcare Student Resources. The Student Health Clinic does not file other types of third party insurance plans; students can file with their private insurance for medications or specialty referrals that may be needed after a Student Health Clinic visit. You don’t need to have insurance to be seen at the AU Student Health Clinic.

5. Does the AU Student Health Clinic provide COVID-19 tests?

No, currently the Augusta University Student Health Clinic does not provide in-house testing for COVID-19. Students, like everyone living in the CSRA, will be instructed to call the AU-Health 24/7 hotline to make an appointment for drive through testing at one of the local sites.  Alternatively, for students covered by insurance, the student may opt to have testing done at a local reference lab such as Lab Corp or Quest.

6. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html as more is learned about COVID-19. This website also has an interactive symptom self-checker.

7. When should I seek emergency care?

If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not comprehensive for all possible symptoms of COVID-19. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility. Notify the operator that you are seeking care for possible COVID-19.

 

8. Somebody I was around has been diagnosed with COVID-19. What should I do?

Currently, the Richmond County Department of Public Health (RCDPH) is performing contact tracing of any laboratory-confirmed positive COVID-19 cases. This means that if you are identified by RCDPH as a close contact of a confirmed case, they will notify you and they will provide you with specific guidance. If you develop a fever, respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing), then you should notify your primary care provider or student health provider by calling to make an appointment. You should follow the CDC guidelines on what to do if you are sick. Also, the CDC has guidelines for caring for someone in your home who has COVID-19 symptoms, as well as guidance for caring for yourself.   

If you are asymptomatic, you should follow the latest guidelines regarding quarantine: https://dph.georgia.gov/contact

The Georgia Department of Public Health has prepared the following video describing the process of contact tracing: .

9. What should I do if I am sick?

Please go to Welcome Back for the latest information

10. If I have been ill, when can I return to school or work if I am not allowed to work or take classes remotely?

Please go to Welcome Back for the latest information

11. Should I wear a mask to help slow the spread of COVID-19?

The university is following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance. As of 6-25-2020, the CDC “recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.” The university will use online and other digital messaging, signage and other reminders to strongly encourage the wearing of face masks or cloth face coverings. Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you have no symptoms. The mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing and should be considered just one step people should take to ensure our community remains healthy. A face mask protects others; face masks worn by others help protect you.

 

12. Should COVID-19 testing be mandatory prior to return to campus?

Current guidance from Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) is that wide-scale mandatory testing of students and employees prior to returning to the classroom/workplace is not recommended. Additionally, there is no recommendation nor requirement from GDPH, CDC, or USG that students or employees be required to be tested prior to enrollment and/or arrival on campus. While doing so may sound like a good idea, there are several reasons why this is not feasible. The most important reason is because in the setting of a large, open campus with many portals or modes of entry, it is not possible to control who comes and goes on any given day; people have personal lives and are expected to always act responsibly to protect themselves and others from infection. Another important reason has to do with reliability or accuracy of the tests. For such a testing program to be useful, each person entering campus would need to be tested nearly every day after entry to campus, and each new person entering campus would have to be tested and then retested every couple of days. As such, there is very little benefit in requiring persons to be tested before arrival to campus. Finally, even if a wide-scale, recurrent testing program was considered, resources cannot support that level of testing, nor will our campus have access to the large number of test kits required to provide that level of testing on an on-going basis for an indeterminate period of time.

 

13. Someone in my classroom or office is displaying symptoms. What should I do as faculty or a supervisor?

If someone in your classroom/office is displaying symptoms of COVID 19 (fever, cough, and difficulty breathing), you should politely excuse them from the classroom/clinical rotation/workplace and advise them to go home and seek medical care, if necessary. Preferably, do this privately and not in front of the entire class or in front of work colleagues. It is also important to understand that everyone who sneezes or coughs is not infected with coronavirus as they may have allergies, the common cold, etc. Everyone should practice good hygiene by covering our nose/mouth when sneezing or coughing with a tissue or inside of your elbow, washing hands frequently and wiping down frequently touched surfaces (keyboards, doorknobs/handles, phones, etc.). 

 

14. If someone on campus is diagnosed with Covid-19, will the campus be notified?

The Georgia Department of Public Health handles all contact tracing which is delegated to local county health departments. Their trained contact tracers will notify anyone who may be at risk after being in close contact with an individual who has tested positive.

 

15. If a student is exposed to a patient while on a clinical rotation, what should they do?

Please go to Welcome Back for the latest information

16. Who is considered a close contact?

An individual is considered a “close contact” if they were less than 6 feet from an infected individual for 15 minutes or longer. Wearing a face mask lowers the likelihood of exposure should the physical distance be slightly less and/or time interval is slightly longer. The contact tracer should be the one to determine if wearing a mask meets the definition of “close contact”, as this case specific.

17. What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is a long-standing public health policy to limit the spread of certain infectious diseases, such as measles, sexually transmitted infections, HIV, COVID-19, and others. Contact tracing is done exclusively by local public health departments by trained professionals. By law, the local county public health department receives notification of positive tests by laboratories. Contact tracers contact the infected individual to find out names and contact information of all known close contacts. Public Health contact tracers make the determination if the named contacts are actually close contacts by definition and then contact these individuals to inform them that they may have been exposed to the infection in question and request that they get tested as soon as possible. Contact tracers do not reveal the identity of the infected individual. Contact tracers also follow-up on these cases to ensure they are practicing proper isolation at home and provide guidelines when they may return to school or work.

 The Georgia Department of Public Health has prepared the following video describing the process of contact tracing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LANQADjaEY.

18. Who is at increased risk of acquiring COVID-19?

Everyone is at risk for getting COVID-19 if they are exposed to the virus. Some people are more likely than others to become severely ill, which means that they may require hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe, or they may even die. Scientists and health professionals learn more about COVID-19 every day, and as more information becomes available, CDC will continue to update and share information about risk for severe illness.

People who have an increased risk for developing severe illness following infection:

  • Risk for severe illness increases with age, especially over age 65.
  • People of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 with poorer prognosis:

 

19. I have one or more health risk factors that make me vulnerable to serious disease following COVID-19 infection. What should I do?

Students who have one or more of the above risk factors should not attend in-person classes until further notice based on current CDC guidelines. Students will need to obtain a medical report from their primary care physician or the Student Health Clinic and then seek consultation at the Augusta University Testing and Disability Services office located on the Summerville Campus. This office will notify appropriate faculty so that vulnerable students receive academic accommodations that would include remote learning.

 Employees who have one or more of the above risk factors should not work in a setting with other people. Employees will need to obtain a medical report from their primary care physician or Employee Health and then notify the Office of Human Resources for advice, which may include tele-working, as work responsibilities allow.

  • Wear face coverings and do not touch your face.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
  • Practice physical distancing and stay 6ft apart.
  • Stay home if you feel ill.
  • Clean surfaces.

Hand wash Face mask 

 

 

COVID