The University Health Center and Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are continuing their services despite the coronavirus outbreak.
UHC will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and it will not be open on weekends. Heather Eberspacher, UHC medical director, said each visitor will be screened upon arrival at UHC. If someone is showing symptoms, they will be asked to wear a mask.
All CAPS appointments will now be remote, over the phone or using Zoom, according to an email sent by interim vice chancellor of Student Affairs Laurie Bellows on Friday, March 20.
UHC started preparing for the coronavirus by screening travelers in the fall after the medical community received the announcement that the coronavirus was in China, according to Eberspacher.
Eberspacher said UHC has been asking every patient travel screening questions generated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Nebraska Medicine before they are seen by a physician or therapist. She said UHC is using Nebraska Medicine infectious disease based protocols to assess and evaluate a potential high-risk patient.
Students generally need to have a fever, shortness of breath and a cough in order for a student to be tested for COVID-19, Eberspacher said. They also must have had close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or have traveled to an area of known spread of the disease.
Eberspacher said students can be seen the same day they call to make an appointment. She said the health department and UHC encourage everyone to call ahead if they’re feeling ill to discuss their symptoms with a registered nurse or a physician.
“If they are having mild symptoms, they should stay home, monitor fever and treat symptoms and let us know if their condition is worsening,” Eberspacher said. “If they are high-risk based on our screening questions and symptom review, then we will ask them to come in and set up a time, so that we can minimize the chance of anyone else getting possibly exposed.”
For preventative measures that students can take, Eberspacher said students should follow the CDC and county health department recommendations like social distancing, avoiding touching the face and hand-washing.
“We are getting a lot of calls from people concerned about COVID-19, and we are following the latest guidelines on when to test and when not to,” Eberspacher said.
This article was modified at 2:24 p.m. on Friday, March 20, to include information from an email sent by Laurie Bellows.