Student Health Services' public health efforts are dedicated to disease surveillance and prevention on campus. We provide information and resources on common communicable diseases, including COVID-19, meningitis and mpox.
Vaccine and Booster Documentation
As of June 5, 2023, UD students are strongly recommended but not required to receive COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters. Student Health highly encourages students to remain up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, including the bivalent booster. Please visit the UD coronavirus website for the latest campus COVID-19 information and policies.
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
If you would like to upload documentation of your optional COVID-19 vaccine and booster, please:
- Log into the UD Health Portal.
- Click “Enter my COVID-19 vaccine information.”
- Click “Upload” to upload a copy of your COVID vaccine card or other official documentation. Please ensure the entire front of your card is included. Your name and date of birth must be visible.
- Enter the dates and manufacturer of your COVID vaccines/booster under “COVID-19 vaccine history.”
- After verifying that all information is correct, click “Done” in the bottom right hand corner. Results are typically processed within 5–7 business days by SHS staff.
- If you are having difficulty uploading your vaccines through the Medical Clearances section in your UD Health Portal, please click the “Immunizations” section from the main menu, then the grey “Additional Immunizations Records Upload” button at the top.
Please note: Weekly COVID-19 testing is not required in the 2023–2024 academic year.
- Log into the UD Health Portal.
- Click “Enter my COVID-19 test results.”
- Choose your test type (COVID-19 PCR or Rapid Antigen).
- Click the gray "Add New Result."
- Enter the Date that your test was performed.
- Select the Result of your test (Positive or Negative).
- Take a picture of your UD ID card beside your home test with the date of the test written on/near the test card.
- Click the green "Upload" to attach the image/PDF of your test result (with your UD ID and test date).
- Click "Done."
- Uploads will be reviewed by SHS staff in the order they are received.
Beginning June 5, 2023, COVID-19 vaccination/boosters are strongly recommended but not required for students. Exemptions for COVID-19 vaccination are not necessary. Visit udel.edu/coronavirus for more information.
Students, faculty and staff who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for five days in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) and the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH). CDC/DPH guidelines indicate five days of isolation plus five additional days of strict masking.
- Students should upload a picture of their positive test to the UD Health Portal with a picture of their UD ID card and test date.
- Use the CDC’s Isolation Calendar Calculator to outline your isolation and masking time.
- Isolate for five full days and wear a mask for five additional days (Day 6-10) (Isolate for five full days after symptoms begin, or five full days after your positive test date, if you are asymptomatic at time of initial testing). Isolation ends on your sixth day as long as your symptoms are improving. You do not need a negative COVID-19 test to end your isolation. If you are having fevers or develop new symptoms on Day 5, please contact SHS at 302-831-2226, as this indicates you are still contagious and would need to extend your isolation for up to 10 days.
- Wear a mask on Day 6-10, even if your symptoms have resolved. You can still be contagious during this time period. If around others on Day 6-10, you should only remove your mask to eat, drink, bathe or sleep.
- Isolation means not interacting with others inside or outside of your residence as much as possible. The goal of isolating is to prevent spread of the virus to other people. Do not interact with anyone who is not COVID-positive or attend in-person classes, work, parties, public businesses, restaurants, bars, gyms, etc. If possible, you should not share a bedroom or a bathroom with anyone else during your isolation period. If you must share a bedroom and/or bathroom, remain masked at all times except when eating, drinking, bathing or sleeping.
- If you are vaccinated and boosted, you must still isolate for five full days if you test positive for COVID.
- If you live anywhere on campus, UD strongly recommends returning to your home residence to isolate.
- Students in the residence halls will be expected to isolate at their home residence or off campus. If this is not possible, you will need to isolate in place.
- You are able to obtain takeout/delivery/grab-and-go food, but should not eat or drink around others.
- If you tested positive on a home test kit, SHS strongly recommends you obtain a formal lab test for documentation purposes.
- We are here for you! If you have concerns about your symptoms or medical history, need guidance on medications to take, or have any other questions, please call SHS at 302-831-2226 between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and the Highmark Nurse Line at 888-258-3428 after hours.
Utilize a free COVID-19 antigen test kit from one of the pickup locations on campus. You can also call SHS at 302-831-2226 for symptomatic testing on site. Even if you are vaccinated, if you are experiencing any potential COVID-19 symptoms (such as fever, chills, body aches, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea), you should obtain COVID-19 testing. You should not attend classes or social events until you obtain a COVID-19 test.
Medical advice is available to all students via phone (via SHS 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and the Highmark Nurse Line (888-258-3428) after hours.
after hours). More information about emergency and after-hours care can be found on this website. If you are experiencing serious symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness or chest pain, call 911 and be sure to tell the dispatcher if you suspect or know that you are COVID-19 positive.
COVID-19 is contagious to close contacts (someone who was within six feet of you for 15 minutes or more, either consecutive or combined, in 24 hours), or people that you shared drinks and/or utensils with, hugged or kissed.
If you qualify as a “close contact,” please:
- Wear a mask for 10 days.
- Get tested five days after exposure.
- Monitor symptoms for 10 days.
Please note that there is no longer a quarantine requirement for individuals who are exposed to someone with COVID-19.
If any symptoms develop, obtain a COVID-19 test or call SHS directly for COVID-19 testing at 302-831-2226.
COVID-19 is spread through close contact. The CDC recommends you:
- Maintain at least six feet between anyone you do not live with.
- Wear a face covering or mask to reduce your risk.
- Wash and sanitize your hands frequently.
- Limit large gatherings.
- Whenever possible, interact with others outdoors instead of indoors.
- If you notice any symptoms, get tested for COVID-19.
- Submit your vaccine documentation using the instructions at the top of this site.
- Get a COVID-19 booster dose you have not received the most recent bivalent COVID-19 booster that protects against the Omicron variant.
- You must still comply with any current public health measures to help reduce transmission of COVID-19, which may include physical distancing, mask wearing and hand hygiene.
- If you develop any symptoms of illness (fever, chills, body aches, headache, congestion, sneezing, sore throat, cough, loss of taste or smell, vomiting or diarrhea), please obtain a COVID-19 test or call SHS for testing and evaluation.
Invasive meningococcal disease is a rare but serious bacterial infection that occasionally infects college students and others living in relatively isolated, confined communities. Meningococcal meningitis is one presentation of this life-threatening disease. SHS wants students, faculty and staff to have up-to-date information about this disease and know how to reduce the risk of exposure.
Students: Meningitis ACWY vaccine is available at SHS. Please call 302-831-2226 to make an appointment. In an emergency, always dial 911. Please note that this vaccine is not covered by the UD Wellbeing Fee but the cost can be billed to insurance. Meningitis B vaccines are available at local pharmacies.
Employees: Please contact your practitioner or go to an emergency room.
Caution: Anyone who becomes ill with mild, flu-like symptoms should watch for more severe symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, rash or changes in mental status. If any of these symptoms develop, do not delay seeking medical attention.
Meningitis Frequently Asked Questions
Meningitis is an inflammation of the linings of the brain and spinal cord caused by either viruses or bacteria.
Viral meningitis is more common than bacterial meningitis and usually occurs in late spring and summer. Signs and symptoms of viral meningitis may include stiff neck, headache, nausea, vomiting and rash. Most cases of viral meningitis run a short, uneventful course. Since the causative agent is a virus, antibiotics are not effective. Persons who have had contact with an individual with viral meningitis do not require treatment.
Bacterial meningitis occurs rarely and sporadically throughout the year, although outbreaks tend to occur in late winter and early spring. Bacterial meningitis in college-aged students is most likely caused by Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcal meningitis) or Streptococcus pneumoniae. Because meningococcal meningitis can cause grave illness and rapidly progress to death, it requires early diagnosis and treatment. In contrast to viral meningitis, persons who have had intimate contact with a case require prophylactic therapy. Untreated meningococcal disease can be fatal.
Approximately 10 percent of the general population carry meningococcal bacteria in the nose and throat in a harmless state. This carrier state may last for days or months before spontaneously disappearing, and it seems to give persons who harbor the bacteria in their upper respiratory tracts some protection from developing meningococcal disease.
During meningococcal disease outbreaks, the percentage of people carrying the bacterium may approach 95 percent, yet the percentage of people who develop meningococcal disease is less than 1 percent. This low occurrence of disease following exposure suggests that a person’s own immune system, in addition to bacterial factors, plays a key role in disease development.
Meningococcal bacteria cannot usually live for more than a few minutes outside the body. As a result, they are not easily transmitted in water supplies, swimming pools or by routine contact with an infected person in a classroom, dining room, bar, restroom, etc.
Roommates, friends, spouses and children who have had intimate contact with the oral secretions of a person diagnosed with meningococcal disease are at risk for contracting the disease and should receive prophylactic medication immediately. Examples of such contact include kissing, sharing eating utensils or beverages and being exposed to droplet contamination from the nose or throat.
The incidence of meningococcal disease has declined steadily in the U.S. since a peak of reported disease in the late 1990s. Even before routine use of a meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) in adolescents was recommended in 2005, the overall annual incidence of meningococcal disease had decreased 64 percent, from 1.1 cases per 100,000 population in 1996 to 0.4 cases per 100,000 population in 2005. In 2018, the rate of meningococcal disease in the U.S. reached a historic low of 0.1 cases per 100,000 population. Incidence of disease caused by serogroup B, a serogroup not included in the routinely recommended MenACWY vaccine, also has declined for reasons that are not known.
From 2015 to 2018, an estimated 360 cases of meningococcal disease occurred annually in the United States, representing an average annual incidence of 0.11 cases per 100,000 population. Of those with known serogroup in 2018 (N=302), 39 percent were serogroup B and 51 percent were serogroups C, Y or W- 135. The incidence of disease is highest in infants 1 year old and under, and adolescents age 16 to 20 years old.
Meningococcal disease is potentially dangerous because it is relatively rare and can be mistaken for other conditions. The possibility of having meningitis may not be considered by someone who feels ill, and early signs and symptoms may be ignored. A person may have symptoms suggestive of a minor cold or flu for a few days before experiencing a rapid progression to severe meningococcal disease.
Understanding the characteristic signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease is critical and possibly lifesaving. Common early symptoms of meningococcal meningitis include fever, severe sudden headache accompanied by mental changes (e.g. malaise, lethargy) and neck stiffness. A rash may begin as a flat, red eruption, mainly on the arms and legs. It may then evolve into a rash of small dots that do not change with pressure (petechiae). New petechiae can form rapidly, even while the patient is being examined.
Meningococcal disease can be rapidly progressive. However, with early diagnosis and treatment, the likelihood of a full recovery is increased. Early recognition, performance of a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) and prompt initiation of antimicrobial therapy are crucial. For chemoprophylaxis, the use of such prophylactic antibiotics as ciprofloxacin or rifampin is recommended for those who may have been exposed to a person diagnosed with meningococcal disease. Anyone who suspects possible exposure should consult a practitioner immediately.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine vaccination for first-year college students living in residence halls. The University of Delaware requires meningitis ACWY vaccination for all incoming students living in campus residence halls and recommends meningitis B vaccine.
The vaccines for meningococcal serogroups A, C, W and Y (MenACWY; Menactra, Sanofi Pasteur; Menveo, GlaxoSmithKline [GSK]; MenQuadfi, Sanofi Pasteur) contain meningococcal conjugate in which the surface polysaccharide is chemically bonded (“conjugated”) to a protein to produce a robust immune response to the polysaccharide. Although each of the three MenACWY vaccine products uses a different protein conjugate, the products are considered interchangeable; the same vaccine product is recommended, but not required, for all doses.
Since late 2014, vaccines have become available that offer protection from meningococcal serogroup B disease (MenB; Bexsero, GSK; Trumenba, Pfizer). These vaccines are composed of proteins found on the surface of the bacteria. These vaccine products are not interchangeable; the same vaccine product is required for all doses.
MenACWY vaccines provide no protection against serogroup B disease, and meningococcal serogroup B vaccines (MenB) provide no protection against serogroup A, C, W or Y disease. For protection against all five serogroups of meningococcus, it is necessary to receive both MenACWY and MenB.
UD is working with the CDC and Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) to educate our campus, prepare for and respond to Mpox.
Mpox is a disease caused by a virus in the poxvirus family. It can cause fever, swollen lymph nodes and a rash. Mpox is spread through close contact, including prolonged face-to-face contact and skin-to-skin contact. It is contagious from the time symptoms begin until the rash has healed and new skin has formed. This can take two to four weeks.
Mpox Frequently Asked Questions
Mpox is a disease caused by a virus in the poxvirus family similar to smallpox. Symptoms from mpox are usually less severe than smallpox.
Infections with mpox are rarely fatal, but symptoms can be painful. Secondary skin infections can cause scarring and complications, as well.
Mpox symptoms usually start within three weeks of exposure to the virus and may include:
- Flu-like symptoms (fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes).
- Followed by a rash one to four days later. The rash usually begins around the mouth or face, then spreads to the hands, feet, arms, legs and trunk. Some individuals only develop a rash on or near the genitals and/or anus.
- The rash changes from small, flat red or dark spots to tiny blisters (vesicles) and then to larger, pus-filled blisters or pustules. The rash can take several weeks to heal.
- A person is contagious from the time their symptoms begin until the rash is completely healed and new skin has formed. This can take two to four weeks.
- If you have symptoms of mpox, contact SHS by calling 302-831-2226. Let them know if you have a rash or a concern about mpox. Employees should contact their healthcare provider.
- Your healthcare provider can test for mpox, if indicated.
Mpox testing is only available from a healthcare provider. There are no home tests available. Healthcare providers can only test for mpox once a rash has developed. A swab (like a Q-tip) is taken from a few lesions. Test results take three to five days. Students should reach out to SHS for possible testing. Faculty and staff should contact their healthcare provider.
Mpox spreads in different ways. The virus can spread from person-to-person through:
- Direct contact with the infectious rash or scabs.
- Respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact (less than three hours) or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling or sex.
- Touching cloth items such as clothing, sheets or towels that have been used by someone with mpox.
- Touching contaminated items such as door knobs, electronics and environmental surfaces that have been used by someone with mpox.
- Sharing drinks, utensils and toothbrushes.
It is currently unknown if mpox is sexually transmitted. Unlike COVID-19, mpox does not spread by persons without symptoms or by casual contact.
- It is important to note that anyone can get mpox if they have very close contact with someone who is infected.
- Mpox spreads in close-knit social groups. A person’s individual risk is dependent on the amount of interactions with at-risk social circles and spaces.
- Your level of risk increases if you have multiple sexual partners or are engaging in social activities where there is skin-to-skin contact.
- Currently, cases are predominantly among men who have sex with men. This may include men who identify as gay, bisexual, heterosexual or any man who engages in sexual activity with other men.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid close contact with and handling linens of people with mpox.
- Avoid touching contaminated objects that have been used by people with mpox.
- Avoid enclosed spaces where there is intimate or sexual contact.
- Avoid parties or clubs where there is direct, personal, skin-to-skin contact.
- Have open discussions with any sexual partners about symptoms of mpox and do not engage with anyone with potential symptoms.
- Get vaccinated if you are eligible.
There are increasing cases of mpox in the United States. At this time, the risk of mpox in Delaware is believed to be low. However, anyone in close contact with a person with mpox can get it and should take steps to protect themselves.
Unfortunately, condoms do not prevent mpox. Condoms are still important, as they help prevent sexually transmitted infections like HIV, gonorrhea and chlamydia.
Your level of exposure to someone with mpox depends on the timeline of their symptom onset, the duration you spent together, the proximity and the activity.
If you had a known intermediate or high-risk exposure to someone with mpox:
- Monitor for symptoms for 21 days.
- Call SHS at 302-831-2226 if symptoms or a rash develop. Employees should contact their healthcare provider.
- Get vaccinated (call SHS for vaccination at 302-831-2226).
- Clean any shared spaces.
As of October 4, 2022, vaccines are available to:
- People with known or suspected exposure to mpox
- Individuals who are HIV+
- Individuals taking PrEP for HIV prevention
- All gay, bisexual, transgender or nonbinary persons who have sex with men
- Females having sex with gay, bisexual, transgender or nonbinary males
- Transgender women or nonbinary persons assigned male at birth who have sex with men
- Sex workers of any gender and sexual orientation
- Immunocompromised persons (including those with cancer, solid organ or stem cell transplants, those taking immunosuppressive therapy and individuals with autoimmune disease)
- Those treated for a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the last six months
- People experiencing homelessness
- People in prison
- Healthcare workers who are providing direct patient care to confirmed or suspected mpox cases in areas such as emergency departments, urgent cares, federally qualified health centers, DPH clinics, STI/HIV or sexual health clinics and those at occupational risk, such as laboratory staff that handle mpox specimens
As vaccine supply improves in Delaware, additional groups may be eligible for mpox vaccine. The mpox vaccine is available to eligible students at SHS. The mpox vaccine is not required for UD students, faculty and staff.
For vaccine information and appointments, please contact Student Health at 302-831-2226, or contact DPH at 1-866-408-1899 or DPHCall@delaware.gov. See the bottom of this webpage for additional vaccine resources in Delaware.
Follow the instructions from the CDC and your medical provider. The University of Delaware expects that individuals who test positive for mpox will comply with Delaware Division of Public Health communications and recommendations, including isolation and contact tracing. Individuals will need to isolate until they are no longer contagious and all scabs/lesions have resolved and new skin has grown (which can take two to four weeks). Students must return home for their isolation period. If returning home is not possible, students should reach out to their RA. Detailed isolation and cleaning instructions for mpox can be found on the CDC website.
Employees should reach out to their HR liaison for questions about leave or returning to work.
Most people with mpox recover fully within two to four weeks without the need for medical treatment. Antivirals, such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems. TPOXX is currently only available through the Strategic National Stockpile.
Mpox Links and Resources
UD Student Health Services (UD students only)
Call 302-831-2226 to schedule an appointment or register through the UD Health Portal.
Call the DPH Hotline at 1-866-408-1899 to schedule an appointment with a public health clinic or vaccine event.
Beebe Health Care
Register for vaccine clinics at beebehealthcare.org/monkeypox.
Newark Urgent Care
Visit NewarkUrgentCare.org to schedule an appointment for Thursday vaccination clinics.
OTHER RESPIRATORY VIRUSES, INCLUDING RSV
|SARS-CoV-2 virus||Influenza A or Influenza B virus||Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Parainfluenza, Adenovirus, Rhinovirus, Enterovirus.|
Symptoms (*most common symptoms)
Over-the-counter medications (available at SHS Dispensary):
Over-the-counter medications (available at SHS Dispensary):
Over-the-counter medications (available at SHS Dispensary):
|Prescription antivirals like Paxlovid for patients at risk of complications||Prescription antivirals like Oseltamivir for patients at risk of complications||No antivirals available for these conditions|
|Antibiotics are not effective for viral illnesses||Antibiotics are not effective for viral illnesses||Antibiotics are not effective for viral illnesses|
|5–10 days||5–7 days||7–10 days|
At risk for complications
What should I do at home?
When to seek medical care (SHS or Urgent Care)