Frequently Asked Questions
Testing and Reporting Positive Results
Will there be mandatory surveillance testing this year?
There will not be mandatory surveillance testing. Instead, students will have access to rapid antigen tests through The Wellness Center on the 3rd floor of the Elliot Center which can be utilized if you are feeling ill or if you are a close contact to someone who has tested positive for covid-19. For more information on when and how to test, please see the FAQ’s below.
The Wellness Center is open M-F 8AM-4:30PM.
Is testing required before we arrive on campus or after we arrive on campus?
There will be no arrival testing for the Fall 2023 return to Keene State College. Prearrival testing is not required but is encouraged, especially if feeling ill. If possible, please take a rapid antigen test or a PCR test within 24 hours of returning to campus. For information about when to test, please see FAQ “When should I test?”
Where can I go to get tested?
If you are feeling ill and feel you should be seen by a medical provider, please call The Wellness Center at 603-358-2200. They are open Monday-Friday 8AM-4:30PM. You can also call to speak to a nurse if you have questions. The Wellness Center will continue to provide free COVID-19 antigen test kits to students. You can come the center during open business hours to pick up a free test. You can also visit a local pharmacy or Convenient MD.
When should I test?
You should test if you are feeling ill, especially if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Those who experience the above symptoms and test negative, should retest on day 2 and day 4 of symptoms. During this time period, one should avoid other people as much as possible and mask when exposure to others is necessary.
You should also test if you were a recent contact of someone who has tested positive for covid-19. If you have symptoms, test right away. Otherwise, test on days 2 and 5 after exposure.
Am I required to submit a positive test result
No. KSC is no longer tracking positive cases since the CDC has ended the COVID-19 pandemic on May 11th.
What do I do if I am feeling sick and my test for COVID-19 was negative?
If your symptoms continue, please retest on day 2 and day 4 of symptoms. During this time period, avoid other people as much as possible and mask when exposure to others is necessary. If your symptoms worsen or you are concerned and if you are a student, please call The Wellness Center to talk to a health care provider at 603-358-2200. If you are an employee, please contact your health care provider.
Is there a student illness policy the College has regarding COVID-19?
The Student Illness Policy is as follows:
Students are encouraged to remain out of classes and campus activities while acutely ill. Please use the following guidance for reference.
Please stay home if you feel sick and are experiencing any combination of the following symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Body aches
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste and smell
- Nausea/vomiting, or diarrhea
If your symptoms are severe or if you are concerned about your symptoms and would like to talk with a health professional about your symptoms, contact The Wellness Center at 603-358-2200, Monday-Friday 8AM-4:30PM.
You should stay home or in your dorm room until you:
- Have no fever for 24 hours without use of any fever-reducing medications (i.e., Tylenol, Ibuprofen, etc.), and/or
- Have no nausea, vomiting, diarrhea for 24 hours, and/or
- Upper respiratory symptoms have improved
If you feel ill, please consider taking a covid test. If the test is positive, please isolate for at least 5 full days and until the above criteria are met (and you are feeling better!). You may attend class on day 6, but please wear a mask until day 10. Covid tests can be obtained in The Wellness Center during routine business hours or at a local pharmacy.
If your symptoms are mild and you are not positive for covid, flu, strep throat (or other common contagious upper respiratory illness), you may attend class, but please wear a mask while symptoms are present.
For more information about KSC’s policies regarding covid-19, please visit the following web page: https://www.keene.edu/featured/covidresponse/
Isolation and Quarantine
How long do I need to isolate for if I tested positive for COVID-19?
You must isolate for AT LEAST 5 days, and perhaps more:
- If you test positive, you must isolate for a full 5 days per CDC guidance, with the day of positive test or symptoms onset being counted as day 0.
- If you have been fever-free for 24 hours (without use of a fever reducing medicine) and your symptoms have improved, then you may return to class and campus activity on day 6 while wearing a mask. Please continue to mask around others on days 6-10.
- If symptoms continue, please continue to isolate until symptoms are improving, you have tested negative, or have reached 10 days in isolation.
Even if you are symptom-free on day 5, we encourage you to take a rapid, antigen test on day 6. If the test is still positive, please continue to isolate until the test is negative or until you complete a full 10 days of isolation.
If I am a student, can I isolate on campus?
If possible, we encourage students to return home to isolate. Students who cannot go home should isolate in place in your room. During this time, use grab and go options for dining, and wear a high-quality mask around other people as much as possible. You do not need to mask around your roommate when sleeping.
What do I do if I am a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
You must mask around other people for a full 10 days after contact with the positive person except when you are sleeping.
- The last date of contact is day 0
- Masking around others is required regardless of vaccination status
- You should use grab and go options for dining and avoid other situations where you cannot mask and are with other people.
Monitor for symptoms and test if symptoms appear. If no symptoms appear, test on day 2 and day 5 after exposure.
- If the test is negative, continue to wear a mask around others for the full 10 days.
If your tests are negative and you remain symptom free, you can continue to attend class, work and other campus events.
Will I need to quarantine if I was considered a close contact of someone who tested positive?
Per CDC guidelines, individuals will not need to quarantine regardless of vaccination status. See FAQ above about what to do if you are considered a close contact.
How can I receive academic support while I am in isolation? How can I keep up with my classes while I am in isolation?
It is important that you keep up with your classes, even if you are in isolation. Please reach out to each instructor and let them know that you will be missing class. Your professor will work with you so that you can stay caught up with work during isolation or will help you catch up, if you are too ill to work. If you need further support, please reach out to the Dean of Students office at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Wellness Center is unable to provide documentation of illness unless you are seen.
Isolation is hard. What can I do to support my mental health while in isolation?
College can be hard and isolation can be an added stressor. While you are in isolation, try some of the following to reduce stress:
- Meditation and Yoga- there are many online resources (Youtube alone has a ton, such as the very popular Yoga with Adriene) , and the following apps can connect you with 1000’s of guided meditations or yoga:
- Insight Timer (free!! With access to thousands of guided meditations, music, and yoga)
- Breathe2Relax (also free! With guidance to breathing meditation)
- Stay connected: reach out to friends and family. Text, call, message, video chat, whatever way you like to communicate! Connect with others daily.
- Rest: take time to nap, read books, color, draw. Enjoy the opportunity to take it easy!
- Gentle activity: if you are feeling up to it, some gentle movement can help reduce stress while in isolation. Take breaks every hour to get up and walk around.
- Dance! This is a great way to move a little, release tension and feel better. Put on your favorite tunes and get moving!
- Get outside: If you are isolating at home and can be away from others, take some time for short walks or even just sitting outside can help one feel better.
If you need more support for your mental health, please do not hesitate to reach out to the counselors at the Wellness Center by calling 603-358-2200. If you need support outside of business hours, please call the 24 hour crisis counselor at 603-358-2436. In emergency, call 911 or campus safety at 603-358-2228.
Who is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination?
- COVID-19 vaccines are available for free to everyone 6 months and older living in the United States, regardless of immigration or insurance status
- Boosters are available for everyone who is 5 years old or older. If it has been more than 5 months since have received the primary series of either Pfizer or Moderna, you are eligible for a booster. Or if it has been 2 months since you received the J&J vaccine, you are eligible for a booster. If you are 50 years old or older and it has been 4 months since you received a booster, you are eligible for a second booster.
- If you are unsure, please talk to your health care provider or students can contact The Wellness Center.
Are vaccinations required?
Vaccinations are not required at Keene State College but they are strongly encouraged. Vaccination continues to be one of our best tools to reduce the incidence of severe disease and hospitalization.
Are their opportunities to get vaccinated in Keene or on campus?
- Keene State College is partnering with Walgreens to bring a Covid and Influenza vaccine clinic to campus on Wednesday, October 25th, 2023. An email will be sent out with further details as the date approaches.
- You can also receive a COVID vaccination at several locations in NH. Check out this website to find a COVID vaccine near you.
Should I get the vaccine if I already had COVID?
Yes! You can still get the COVID-19 vaccine if you already had COVID, as long as it has been at least 10 days since your infection began and your symptoms have resolved. If you are unsure, please contact your health care provider or the Wellness Center to discuss your situation.
Should I get a COVID vaccine this year?
It is recommended that everyone aged 6 months or older receive an updated covid vaccine. During Fall 2022, the covid vaccine was updated to include better protection against the newer Omicron variant of Covid-19. As the virus continues to mutate, it is likely that an updated booster will be offered during fall 2023 as well. Please pay attention to updates from the Wellness Center for the latest information about covid vaccine and for possible flu and covid vaccine clinics on campus this fall!
For more information, please check out this page from the CDC:
If you are concerned or have more questions, please contact a health care provider at The Wellness Center or reach out to your primary care provider.
Masking and PPE
Are masks required on campus?
Masks are not required on campus at this time. If conditions change, it is possible that mask requirements may be instituted at a future date. Even though masks are not currently required, you should carry a mask with you at all times, as someone may request that you wear a mask while in their physical space or lecture/event. Masks are welcome at Keene State. Please respect another person’s decision to wear a mask, and do not ask about their or their family’s health situation.
Are there times that I should mask, regardless of a mask mandate on campus?
Yes, please mask if any of the following conditions apply to you:
- If you are experiencing symptoms of any respiratory illness, even if they have tested negative for COVID
- If you have completed isolation for Covid-19 and are still within days 6-10 of having tested positive
- If you are within 10 days of having had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID
Where can I get masks on campus?
- Most buildings on campus will have a surgical mask dispenser that you are free to use.
- For other mask requests, please use this online form or visit the Wellness Center during business hours.
Can I get KN95’s or N95’s? If so, how?
Yes, we recommend using KN95 or N95’s if you are at risk for severe complications of COVID-19 or if you will be in close contact with someone who is at risk for severe complications of COVID-19. There may be other situations, too, where you want to have the better protection that KN95’s and N-95’s offer. To request a KN95 or an N95, please use this online form.