COVID-19: Frequently Asked Health Questions

Last Updated: January 21, 2022

The following frequently asked questions relate to health and well-being. If you are looking for FAQ's related to UNH operations, academics, etc. please visit the UNH Frequently Asked Questions page.

For Upcoming Vaccination & Booster Opportunities, please visit our COVID-19 Resources page.

If you have questions about COVID-19 policies at UNH, visit our Latest COVID-19 Guidelines Summary page.

 Important Updates

  • Pre- and Post-Arrival Testing: Visit our Latest COVID-19 Guidelines Summary page 
  • UNH Quarantine & Isolation Guidelines: Visit our Latest COVID-19 Guidelines Summary page
      • Upload proof of COVID-19 booster and/or vaccination. This will affect your need to quarantine if you are a close contact. If you received a COVID-19 booster please upload your updated card to our secure MyHealth&Wellness portal as soon as possible. The information you provide will be confidential and used only for the purpose of confirming your vaccination status, consistent with our Notice of Privacy Practices.
      • Health & Wellness offers COVID-19 primary vaccination as well as booster doses. Eligible individuals can receive either Moderna or Janssen/J&J vaccine. Appointments are currently offered on Mondays. To make an appointment, please visit MyHealth&Wellness or call (603) 862-9355. Those interested in the Pfizer vaccine for either primary vaccination or a booster dose should contact their local pharmacy.

       

      Ask a Health Provider


      If you do not see your question listed below or need further clarification, our clinicians are available to assist UNH faculty, staff, students, and parents. A physician will email or call you back, usually within the same day. Please include your your contact information (name, email, phone number).

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      Frequently Asked Questions

      If you have been vaccinated and/or received a booster, please let us know by uploading proof of your vaccination here.

      Do you offer the vaccine and/or boosters at Health & Wellness?

      Health & Wellness is now able to provide COVID-19 primary vaccination as well as booster doses for eligible individuals with either Moderna or Janssen/J&J vaccine. Appointments are currently offered on Mondays. To make an appointment, please visit MyHealth&Wellness or call (603) 862-9355.

      Where else can I get my COVID-19 vaccine/booster?

      Those interested in the Pfizer vaccine for either primary vaccination or a booster dose should contact their local pharmacy. 

      For other upcoming vaccination & booster opportunities on or near campus, please see our COVID-19 Health Resources page.

      To find a vaccination location near UNH and accessible from the UNH bus system, you may refer to this interactive map or this list of vaccine locations on the UNH Transit bus lines, or contact Health & Wellness.

      To search other locations, visit vaccines.gov

      Who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine and/or booster?

      Who is eligible for Primary vaccination?

      Ages 5-17: Pfizer (2 doses, 21 days apart)
      Ages 18+: Pfizer (2 doses, 21 days apart); Moderna (2 doses, 28 days apart); or single dose Janssen/J&J

      Who is eligible for booster vaccination?

      Ages 12-17: Pfizer if greater than 5 months from completion of primary series
      Ages 18+: Pfizer and Moderna if greater than 5 months from completion of primary series; Janssen/J&J if greater than 2 months from initial vaccination

      Can I get a different type of vaccine for my booster than the one I got for my initial dose(s)?

      Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose (assuming there are no known contraindications, such as anaphylaxis). Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots. (CDC)

      If I've gotten a booster, should I re-upload or update my vaccination information on MyHealth&Wellness?

      If it was obtained outside of Health & Wellness, then yes, you should update your vaccination record and upload your card in the MyHealth&Wellness portal. If it was obtained at Health & Wellness, we will update your records. 

      What if I lost my vaccination card?

      If you’ve lost your card or don’t have a copy, visit this website to find contact information for the state in which you received your vaccination. If you have previously submitted your vaccine card to Health & Wellness, please contact us for assistance.

      If I'm fully vaccinated and have also had a COVID-19 breakthrough infection recently, can I still get a booster dose? 

      Yes, as long as you have completed your full isolation period, you are without fever, and your symptoms have improved.

      Can I get vaccinated if I’m currently sick with COVID-19?

      No. You should wait until you have fully recovered and are no longer in isolation. This also applies if you’ve already had your first dose of the vaccine.

      Can I safely get the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine at the same time?

      Yes. The COVID vaccine is authorized to be given at the same time (or in the same time frame) as the flu vaccine. 

      If I’ve already had COVID-19, do I still need to get vaccinated and boosted?

      Yes, it is highly recommended. There isn’t enough evidence to know how long you carry antibodies after being infected with the virus. It is also possible to get re-infected with COVID-19 after you’ve already had it, especially given the new variants that have emerged.

      The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 infection or re-infection is to get vaccinated and boosted.

      Are there side effects I should worry about? Could the vaccine give me COVID?

      Vaccination will not give you COVID, since none of the vaccines carry live virus.

      You may experience some side effects. These are normal signs that your body is building protection. “The most common side effects are pain and swelling in the arm where you received the shot. In addition, you may have fever, chills, tiredness, and headache. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.” (CDC)

      It is important to know that it is possible to get COVID-19 soon after you’ve been vaccinated or boosted because it takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity. This means that it’s especially important to keep following public health guidelines while you are in between doses of the vaccine and after 2 weeks have passed since your second dose and booster dose.

      What does it mean to be fully vaccinated? What about "up-to-date"? 

      People are considered fully vaccinated:

      • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
      • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

      If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated. The CDC recommends individuals keep taking all precautions until they are fully vaccinated. If you have a condition or are taking medication that weakens your immune system, you may NOT be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Talk to your healthcare provider. Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking all precautions.

      You are considered "up-to-date" if you have also received your booster dose.

      Do I need to wear a mask and avoid close contact with others if I'm up-to-date with my COVID vaccine?

      After you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, take these steps to protect yourself and others (according to CDC):

      • It is always a good idea to avoid close contact when possible. 
      • If you are in an area with high numbers of COVID-19 cases outside UNH campus, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and when you are in close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated. On UNH campus, you are required to wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status.
      • If you have a condition or taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may not be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. You should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
      • If you are fully vaccinated, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
      • At UNH, you are not required to wear a mask outdoors. 

        Can people who are fully vaccinated still get and/or spread COVID-19?

        Though people who have been vaccinated are much less likely to get sick, all vaccines carry the possibility of breakthrough cases (see definition in Glossary section below). Even with 90% effectiveness, a small percentage of fully vaccinated people can still get sick, be hospitalized, or die from COVID-19.

        Asymptomatic infections are possible as well. Because it takes about 2 weeks to fully build protection after being vaccinated, it is also possible for someone to get infected just before or just after vaccination and then get sick.

        Some variants of COVID-19 may also cause illness in people after they are fully vaccinated.  It is important to know that if you are fully vaccinated and become infected with the Delta variant, you can spread the virus to others.

        Learn more at "What You Should Know About the Possibility of COVID-19 Illness After Vaccination" from the CDC. 

        Do I need to participate in the UNH testing program and how often do I need to test?

        • If you have uploaded your vaccine card and it has been approved:
          • Test once every other week, or more frequently on a voluntary basis.
        • If you have not uploaded a vaccine card:
          • Students test twice per week
          • Employees and contractors test once per week
        • IMPORTANT CHANGE: If you have symptoms, DO NOT use the drop boxes if you have symptoms. Make an appointment at Health & Wellness for evaluation and testing. Your regular testing schedule—shown in Wildcat Pass—will automatically adjust to the appropriate next due date after your last test.

        How do I participate in the required on-going testing for COVID-19 at UNH?

        Visit the UNH testing website for updated information about how and where you can get tested at UNH.

        What should I do if I think I might have COVID-19 symptoms?

        If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, don't wait for your next scheduled test. DO NOT use the drop boxes if you have symptoms; make an appointment at Health & Wellness for evaluation and testing. Your regular testing schedule—shown in Wildcat Pass—will automatically adjust to the appropriate next due date after your last test.

        Faculty and staff: Self-isolate and call your Primary Care Provider (PCP) or other health care clinician for guidance. UNH Durham employees may call  603) 862-9355 to speak with a UNH Health & Wellness staff member.

        What should I do if I receive a positive COVID-19 test result?

        If you test positive on a COVID-19 test processed through UNH, you will be contacted by a member of the Health & Wellness staff. 

        If you receive test results from an outside provider (e.g., local urgent care), please upload your positive result to this form.

        Everyone who tests positive (vaccinated or unvaccinated) will be required to isolate. If you live in a campus residence hall or apartment you can isolate in Adams Tower West and meals will be provided. Learn more about isolation in the "Close Contacts, Quarantine, and Isolation" section below.

        See Glossary of Terms section below for definition of close contact.

        What do I do if I'm a close contact of someone diagnosed with COVID-19?

        • If you have close contact with someone who has COVID-19:
          • You do not need to quarantine, and should get tested 5 days after exposure and wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days, if:
            • You are fully vaccinated (includes initial and booster doses)
            • You were a non-household contact
            • You are an unvaccinated household contact who is within 90 days of testing positive for COVID-19 by antigen or PCR-based testing
          • You should quarantine for 5 days after exposure, test 5 days after exposure, and wear a well-fitting mask and physically distance for 10 days if: 
            • You are an unvaccinated household contact
            • You have not had your booster dose and are a household contact
          • If you have had your booster dose, upload your updated card to our secure MyHealth&Wellness portal as soon as possible.
          • Review the NH guidelines for full guidance on quarantine and isolation. 

        If I have been identified as a Household Close Contact of someone with COVID-19, what does that mean?

        A Household Close Contact (HCC) is any individual who lives and sleeps in the same indoor shared space as another person diagnosed with COVID-19 (either a temporary or permanent living arrangement), leading to close contact and potential repeated exposure to the person with COVID-19. This includes situations where there may be temporary but prolonged exposure such as occurs as sleep-over events, shared camp cabins, vacation rentals, etc.

        If I have been identified as a Non-Household Close Contact of someone with COVID-19, what does that mean?

        A Non-Household Close Contact (NCC) is any individual who was within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for a cumulative time of 15 minutes or more within a 24 hour period, but is not a household contact.

        How do I self-quarantine?

        Please review the NH Guidelines for Quarantine and Isolation for updated guidance. 

        How do I self-isolate?

        Please review the NH Guidelines for Quarantine and Isolation for updated guidance. 

        What should I do if I have to quarantine or isolate on campus?

        Please check back for updates.

        What should I have ready in my “Go Bag” just in case I need to be housed in the quarantine or isolation residence hall?

        Please refer to the image* below, as well as the packing lists for Quarantine and Isolation, for details.

        *Please note, those in quarantine will also need their self-swab testing kits.

        Build a Go Bag - Necessary Items for a Potential 2 week Quarantine (details in Q/I packing list PDFs)

        Will current vaccines protect me from the Omicron variant?

        "Breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are expected, but vaccines are effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. Early evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who become infected with the Omicron variant can spread the virus to others. All FDA-approved or authorized vaccines are expected to be effective against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths.  The recent emergence of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters. (CDC)" 

        Should I still be concerned about the Delta variant? 

        CDC projections for the week ending January 8, 2022, predict the national proportion of Omicron to be 98.3% and Delta to be 1.7%, meaning Omicron is responsible for nearly all the COVID-19 infections in the United States. However, because the Delta variant seems to cause more severe cases of COVID-19, it is still important to practice prevention measures to keep you and your community safe.

        What are variants and why do they occur? 

        Variants are expected! "Viruses constantly change through mutation and sometimes these mutations result in a new variant of the virus. Some variants emerge and disappear while others persist. New variants will continue to emerge. (CDC)" 

        Can we prevent new variants from occurring? 

        The more chance a virus has to spread, the more likely it is that the virus will mutate and develop new variants. The best way to prevent or slow new variants is to stop the spread of the virus through prevention measures like mask-wearing, physical distancing, hand-washing, and most of all, getting vaccinated. 

        What is a "variant of concern"? 

        "Scientists monitor all variants but may classify certain ones as  variants being monitoredvariants of interestvariants of concern and variants of high consequence. Some variants spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. An increase in the number of cases will put more strain on healthcare resources, lead to more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths.

        These classifications are based on how easily the variant spreads, how severe the symptoms are, how the variant responds to treatments, and how well vaccines protect against the variant. (CDC)"

        Are masks still effective? What kind should I wear?

        Correct and consistent mask use is a critical step everyone can take to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19. Masks work best when everyone wears them, but not all masks provide the same protection. When choosing a mask, look at how well it fits, how well it filters the air, and how many layers it has.

        Find out how to improve the effectiveness of your mask here.

        Keep in mind: Masks are required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in all indoor spaces (e.g., classrooms, hallways, elevators, restrooms, break rooms, entries and exits to buildings, laboratories, meeting rooms, shared offices, and work areas as well as on all Wildcat Transit buses). Exceptions include when eating, in private offices, or in personal residence hall rooms.

        KN95 masks are available for front-line staff and faculty. Contact your dean or department head to request them.

        How does COVID-19 spread?

        “COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch. People who are closer than 6 feet from the infected person are most likely to get infected.” Asymptomatic people who are infected but do not show symptoms are able to spread the virus to others. (CDC)

        Can I get re-infected with COVID-19 if I’ve already had it?

        It is rare but possible to become re-infected with COVID-19 if you have had it already, so you'll still need to follow public health guidelines during and after recovery.  (CDC

        What are the most important steps I can take to prevent the spread of illness?

        Everyone can do their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses.

        1. Get vaccinated. It is the best way to prevent serious illness to you personally, and helps to reduce transmission of COVID-19.
        2. Stay home when you experience symptoms (coughing, runny nose, sore throat, fever, etc.).
        3. Wash your hands! Scrub for 20 seconds. Regular soap and water are best, and hand sanitizer is a good alternative.
        4. Wear a mask indoors in public places in high infection areas, regardless of vaccination status, and on the UNH campus.
        5. Continue keeping 6 feet from others and avoiding crowds whenever possible.

        What are the current global travel advisories?

        For global travel advisories, refer to the U.S. Department of State website. Visit the CDC's after-travel guidelines for further guidance.

        What are the current local travel advisories?

        New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) updates for travel requirements can be found here

        What are the travel guidelines (e.g., testing, mask-wearing, precautions) for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals?

        Travel guidelines for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals can be found here.

        Is there a requirement for quarantine if I travel outside NH?

        "Domestic travel within the U.S. outside of New England no longer requires quarantine upon return to NH, although people are recommended to still follow CDC's travel guidance, including wearing a well-fitted face mask while traveling, practicing social distancing, getting tested 3-5 days after travel (with a molecular or PCR-based test), and limiting public interactions after travel (even if not required to quarantine).

        Unvaccinated travelers/visitors to AND residents of NH need to self-quarantine .pdf Icon for 10 days after the last date of any international travel (except for essential travel to/from Canada*), or travel on a cruise ship." Vaccinated travelers and travelers who have recovered from COVID-19 in the previous 90 days are not required to quarantine. More info can be found here.

        How many cases of COVID-19 are there in the United States?

        With the evolving nature of the virus in the United States, check here for updated information regarding the coronavirus in the U.S.

        How many cases of COVID-19 are there in New Hampshire?

        NH Division of Public Health Services provides the number of positive, possible, and fatal cases in NH, at https://www.nh.gov/covid19.

        Where can I get more information on the virus and what UNH is doing to protect the community?

        Refer to the UNH COVID-19 Updates and Resources page and/or the Health & Wellness Health Alerts page.

        What are the symptoms and complications 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. Read more about COVID-19 Symptoms here.

        Why might someone blame or avoid individuals and groups and create stigma because of COVID-19?

        “Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths.” People who experience stigma may also face discrimination. For more information about stigma and how to reduce it in your community, visit the CDC website.

        If you have observed or experienced an incident of bias or hate, discrimination and/or harassment, please report the incident using the reportit!_form or contact the Affirmative Action and Equity Office at affirmaction.equity@unh.edu or (603) 862-2930 Voice / (603) 862-1527 TTY / 7-1-1 Relay NH.

        The pandemic has caused an increase in feelings of worry, stress, sadness, etc. Is this normal? What can I do?

        Feeling anxious, stressed, scared, and/or worried are normal reactions to current events. . These emotions can help motivate us to be informed and take actions to protect ourselves and others:

        • Get adequate sleep, eat well, move your body, hydrate, do things that help to relax your body and mind—these actions strengthen our immune systems and our emotional well-being!
        • Know the facts about the virus and getting accurate information from reliable sources.
        • Take breaks from media, including social media.
        • Stay connected to family, friends, and other support systems.
        • Acknowledge your feelings instead of suppressing them. It can be helpful to write down your feelings and list what is making you feel this way. Acknowledging feelings also includes acknowledging how others feel. Telling yourself or others not to worry, be stressed, or panic only tends to make ourselves and others feel worse.
        • Be kind and compassionate with yourself and others.

        Additional Resources:

        • Living Well Services at Health & Wellness provides education, counseling, wellness coaching, support, and resources to maintain and improve emotional wellness. Make a telehealth appointment with a Wellness Educator/Counselor or Wellness Coach.
        • WellTrack is a self-guided and interactive resource to support your mental health and well-being. It’s easy to use and free-of-charge to UNH students. Based on cognitive-behavioral approaches, the app can help you identify, understand and address Anxiety, Depression, Resiliency and Public Speaking. WellTrack can be used alone or in conjunction with psychotherapy.If you find the emotions you are experiencing are impacting your daily life and functioning, reach out for help: 
          • Students at UNH-Durham can contact Psychological and Counseling Services (PACS) 603-862-2090. 
          • Students at UNH-M can contact The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester (MHCGM) on campus (603) 641-4170 or directly (603) 668-4111.
          • Students at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law can contact Riverbend Community Mental Health 603-228-1600 for an appointment or if crisis 1-844-743-5748.
          • Employees can contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 1-800-424-1749.
          • The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available for those in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals: 1-800-273-8255.
        • Managing Fears and Anxiety around the Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Harvard)
        • Coping With Stress (CDC)

        Am I at greater risk of COVID-19 if I smoke or vape?

        Yes, being a current or former cigarette smoker increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (CDC).

        Health & Wellness is here to support anyone who is interested in reducing or quitting their use. Students may also schedule free telehealth appointments for Wellness Education/Counseling online and utilize our many virtual programs for additional support.

        The following is a list of terms used widely with regard to COVID-19.

        Breakthrough Infection

        A vaccine breakthrough infection is defined as the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA or antigen in a respiratory specimen collected from a person ≥14 days after they have completed all recommended doses of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized COVID-19 vaccine. In other words, it is a COVID-19 infection in an individual who has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

        Household Close Contact

        Household Close Contact (HCC): any individual who lives and sleeps in the same indoor shared space as another person diagnosed with COVID-19 (either a temporary or permanent living arrangement), leading to close contact and potential repeated exposure to the person with COVID-19. This includes situations where there may be temporary but prolonged exposure such as occurs as sleep-over events, shared camp cabins, vacation rentals, etc.

        Non-Household Close Contact

        Non-Household Close Contact (NCC): any individual who was within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for a cumulative time of 15 minutes or more within a 24 hour period, but is not a household contact.

        Community Spread

        Community SpreadCommunity spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

        Flattening the Curve

        Flattening the curve (Harvard): refers to the epidemic curve, a statistical chart used to visualize the number of new cases over a given period of time during a disease outbreak. Flattening the curve is shorthand for implementing mitigation strategies to slow things down, so that fewer new cases develop over a longer period of time. This increases the chances that hospitals and other healthcare facilities will be equipped to handle any influx of patients.

        Isolation vs. Quarantine

        Isolation vs. quarantine: both help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.

        • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
        • Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

        Social distancing vs. Physical distancing

        Social distancing vs. Physical distancing: The CDC defines social distancing as "remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance (> 6 feet) from others when possible." Examples include working from home, closing schools, canceling large gatherings.

        Health & Wellness has recently begun using the term “physical distancing” rather than social distancing to acknowledge that we need social connection (virtually and safely) even as we work to keep ourselves and others healthy through physical distance.

        Additional Resources