COVID-19 Symptoms, Risks and Procedures

What Is COVID-19? | Common Symptoms of COVID-19
Daily Health Screening Questionnaire Requirement of Faculty and Staff
Guidance for Faculty and Staff with Risk Factors
What Happens If There Is a Confirmed COVID-19 Case on Campus?

What Is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the disease caused by a new coronavirus that emerged in late 2019. It manifests most often as a respiratory illness that is spread mainly person-to-person in close contact. When someone with coronavirus coughs, sneezes or talks, respiratory droplets are released, and the droplets may reach and infect people who are very close by.

The droplets generally do not travel more than a few feet which is why social and physical distancing is effective in preventing the spread.

Recent guidance from the CDC indicates that transmission from surfaces is very limited. However, COVID-19 may spread when a person touches a surface or object that has virus on it, and then touches their mouth, nose or eyes. This is why frequent handwashing is another effective way to prevent the spread.

Until there is a vaccine for COVID-19, we are all vulnerable to it and we need to work together to protect ourselves and each other.

Common Symptoms of COVID-19

Persons infected with COVID-19 can present mild or no symptoms, or severe illness. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Common symptoms include:

  • Fever and/or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Runny or stuffy nose (that is unrelated to seasonal allergies)
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches, body aches or headaches (other than those resulting from strenuous activity, exercise or chronic medical or physical conditions)

Daily Health Screening Requirement of Faculty and Staff

It is a New York State requirement that all faculty and staff complete a Daily Health Screening Questionnaire before reporting to work each day that they come to campus. The online screening includes two questions related to exposure to and symptoms of COVID-19. Instructions are provided as to how you should proceed if:

  • you or any member of your household has been directed to self-isolate or quarantine due to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 exposure; or
  • you have a temperature or are otherwise experiencing symptoms.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to bookmark the link to the online Daily Health Screening Questionnaire for easy daily use.

Complete the Daily Health Screening Questionnaire

Guidance for Faculty and Staff with Risk Factors

According to the CDC, older adults (those aged 65 years and older) and people of any age with certain serious medical conditions may be at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Those medical conditions include:

  • HIV
  • Asthma (moderate to severe)
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
  • Severe obesity
  • Compromised immune system

If you are a staff member with a medical condition or disability who has been instructed to return to campus and wish to explore a reasonable accommodation to continue working remotely, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services. Staff may also consider a leave of absence. Faculty members whose personal circumstances may impact their ability to return to campus as scheduled should consult with the dean of their school or college to discuss available options.

What Happens If There Is a Confirmed COVID-19 Case on Campus?

View the COVID-19 Response Checklists on for the latest information about what actions are taken in the event of suspected or confirmed exposure to COVID-19 on campus.

This information was first published on May 29, 2020 and last updated on August 26, 2020.