COVID-19 Service Details and FAQs

If you are sick and suspect that you have COVID-19 but do not yet have test results, you should not attend class, work, or other activities involving exposure to others.

COVID-19 Testing

Campus Health offers diagnostic COVID-19 testing to UNC students, post-docs, eligible partners, and spouses who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Testing is recommended for those who have COVID-19 symptoms and should happen as soon as symptoms arise. 

  • How:
    • Medical evaluation by a Campus Health provider to consider diagnostic COVID-19 PCR testing by nasal swab along with other potential reasons for your symptoms: Call or schedule an appointment online.
    • PCR testing without a provider visit is offered at Campus Health by Radeas Lab: No appointment needed. Visit Campus Health on weekdays between 12pm to 4pm.
    • Self-test with a rapid antigen test: available for purchase at the Healthy Heels Shoppe, Student Stores Pharmacy, and the Healthy Heels 2 Go Vending Machines.
  • Parking: Campus Health offers a limited number of parking spaces. Request a parking pass be emailed to you when you make your appointment.
  • Results: Time to receive PCR lab results can vary. Same-day test results are usually available. While awaiting results, you should limit your activities and follow the recommendations of your provider.

If your test result is positive - report & isolate

Students who test positive must report the positive result and isolate until they meet the criteria for ending isolation.

  • End isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving.
  • Take precautions until day 10 - including wearing a well-fitted mask any time you're around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask. Avoid travel and avoid being around people who are high risk.
  • Students who participate in educational experiences off-site (especially health professions students, but also student teachers, interns, etc.) should communicate with off-site coordinators regarding return to these clinical or practicum experiences. You may be subject to more stringent guidelines in these settings.
  • You cannot test out of isolation before 5 days. A negative result does not override a positive result.
  • For those students having symptoms, there is no need to repeat tests if you receive a positive result.

Students and post-docs living off or on campus who test positive for COVID-19 should report results to campus by visiting unless the test was done by a Campus Health provider.

Residential students living on campus can find out more information on what it means to isolate while living on campus. Dining Services offers support for students who cannot visit dining halls in person.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered, further COVID-19 tests may still show a positive. Testing within 90 days after a positive test is not recommended as patients who have recovered from COVID-19 can continue to have detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA for up to 3 months after illness onset. However, they are not likely infectious. Within this 90-day period and beyond, if you develop symptoms again, you should contact your medical provider.

If your test result is negative

A negative test result indicates your status at the moment of the test and does not mean that you will remain negative after the test. 

Even if you have a negative test result, be mindful about:

  • staying physically distanced
  • avoiding crowds and indoor crowded places
  • washing your hands frequently
  • monitoring for symptoms

If you are feeling sick, and feel you need further evaluation it is recommended that you schedule an appointment to be seen by a provider to consider other respiratory illnesses such as influenza.

Close Contact Guidance

If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 or believe you are a close contact of someone who is positive, you should follow CDC guidance on if you were exposed.

Communicating with Instructors

Most instructors are providing instructional options for students who need to miss class. Communicate with your instructors when you will be unable to attend class. You do not have to disclose your personal health information.

  • If Campus Health instructed you to isolate, you will receive an email that verifies your University Approved Absence which you will be responsible for forwarding to your faculty.
  • If you have tested positive off campus or with Radeas lab (at Campus Health), send your result to Campus Health by visiting in order to be included in the University Approved Absence process.
  • For questions related to University Approved Absences, visit the University Approved Absence website.

COVID-19 Vaccination

COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be highly effective at preventing serious illness and hospitalization. Campus Health will provide COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, and additional boosters as indicated at Student Stores Pharmacy and Campus Health Pharmacy to patrons age 12 and over. The clinic has access to vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. 

Come in for a vaccine or booster at your convenience Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm at Student Stores Pharmacy on the top floor of UNC Student Stores or Campus Health Pharmacy in the basement of Campus Health. No appointment is necessary.

Plan for your visit to take up to 45 minutes. You will need to remain on-site for the entirety of your visit including an observation period. Due to volume, the wait time may vary and facility hours may require you to visit another day.

There will be no out-of-pocket cost to those who receive a vaccine or booster. Bring your insurance card; your insurance will cover administrative costs.

Please reach out to Campus Health Immunization Staff at [email protected] if you have questions. 

Can I receive an updated (bivalent) booster vaccination dose?

Updated (bivalent) booster doses are available at the Carolina Vaccination Clinic at Student Stores Pharmacy.

Learn who should receive boosters.

Mix and match boosters are allowed.

The CDC now defines up-to-date COVID vaccination as a person who has received all recommended primary COVID-19 vaccine doses (including an additional primary dose for immunocompromised persons) as well as recommended booster doses when eligible.

Come in for a vaccine at your convenience Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm at Student Stores Pharmacy on the top floor of UNC Student Stores or Campus Health Pharmacy in the basement of Campus Health. No appointment is necessary.

How should I prepare for my vaccine visit?

We encourage you to eat food and drink water before coming to your vaccination visit.  

Bring your insurance card, and COVID-19 vaccination card if this is not your first dose visit. If you have misplaced your COVID-19 vaccination card, the vaccination staff can look up your information for you and provide a new card.

Wear a mask. 

It is not recommended you take over-the-counter medicine – such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen – before vaccination for the purpose of trying to prevent vaccine-related side effects. It is not known how these medications might affect how well the vaccine works. However, if you take these medications regularly for other reasons, you should keep taking them before you get vaccinated. It is also not recommended to take antihistamines before getting a COVID-19 vaccine to try to prevent allergic reactions. 

Please allow for 45 minutes for your vaccine visit. You will need to remain on-site for the entirety of your visit including an observation period. Due to volume, the wait time may vary and facility hours may require you to visit another day.

What side effects of the vaccine should I be prepared for? When should I be concerned?

It is common to feel pain, redness, or swelling in the vaccinated arm after vaccination. To reduce pain and discomfort, try a cool, wet washcloth over the sore area. Keep your arm active and moving.  

You may experience tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea in the few days following your vaccine. To reduce discomfort from fever, drink plenty of fluids and dress lightly. 

In most cases, discomfort from pain or fever is a normal sign that your body is building protection. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider if the redness or tenderness where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours, if your side effects are worrying you, or if side effects do not seem to be going away after a few days.  You can help the CDC track the safety of vaccines by reporting your side effects using the VSafe smartphone tool

A small percentage of patients experience lightheadedness or fainting upon receiving their vaccine. This is more likely in those who have had reactions to injections in the past. Please make the vaccinator aware if you have experienced this in the past. You can help yourself by eating food and drinking water prior to being vaccinated and taking deep breaths while you are being vaccinated.  

Should I get vaccinated if I have previously tested positive for COVID-19?

Yes! As long as you are out of your isolation period and are not having symptoms, you should get vaccinated. If you have had COVID-19, you may consider delaying your vaccine by 3 months from when your symptoms started or, if you had no symptoms, when you received a positive test.

After being vaccinated, what precautions do I still need to take?

Remember the vaccine and boosters can take up to 2 weeks to offer protection. During that period and beyond, protect yourself and others by following these recommendations:

  • Wash your hands
  • Avoid crowds
  • Avoid poorly ventilated spaces
  • Consider wearing a mask

Do I need to tell UNC that I've been vaccinated?

Yes, please! Students, faculty, and staff who have been fully vaccinated can complete the voluntary COVID-19 Vaccination Certification form

What if I lost my vaccination card?

Those who have been vaccinated in North Carolina can access their vaccination record on the North Carolina Vaccine Portal. You will be prompted to sign in with the username created at the time of your original vaccination appointment. After you are logged in, click on “My Dashboard” to access your record (under “Vaccine Record” tab). Please make sure all of your COVID-19 vaccine doses are documented on your card. For questions about accessing your vaccination record, call the COVID-19 vaccine help center at (888)-675-4567, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Covid-19 CDC More Info

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