Health and wellness

COVID-19 Response guidance on health and wellness.

Last updated: April 1, 2020

Health and wellness FAQ

What is the College doing to keep everyone on campus safe from COVID-19?

Please be assured that the health and safety of the Gettysburg College community is our top priority. We continue to closely monitor COVID-19. The College has convened a dedicated group to lead our response to the outbreak, in consultation with senior leadership and others, with the health and safety of our community foremost in mind. The group continues to address a set of pending issues.

Is the College cleaning areas more than usual?

Facilities Services is following an increased protocol of disinfecting high traffic areas on campus. This includes more frequent disinfection of high touch point areas including door handles, drinking fountains, bathrooms, classrooms and common areas. During spring break, Housekeeping sprayed a disinfecting agent on surfaces throughout residence hall lounges, community bathrooms, and classrooms. The College will continue to ensure public bathrooms are stocked with hand soap and paper towels. Hand sanitizer stations will continue to be stocked as product availability allows.

If I can stay on campus, what happens next?

Students who are approved to stay on campus are required to do a health screening. They need to fill out the My Housing Form and the Health Screening Form. They also must engage in social distancing, including avoiding gathering of more than 25 people. The College will continue to provide housing and dining for students who are unable to return home.

Is Counseling Services open?

For now, we are maintaining regular business hours: 8:30-5, Monday through Friday. We will be using the Zoom app (HIPAA-compliant version) for “meetings.” If you do not have access to a smartphone or prefer a phone conversation, we are happy to speak with you by phone, but phone calls are not HIPAA-compliant. This means your conversation cannot be assured to be confidential.

Can I make an appointment for counseling?

For students remaining on-campus with the College’s permission: we are able and willing to provide therapy services. Please phone us for an appointment.

For students who are off-campus: We are happy to assist you in finding a local provider. So that we can be most helpful, we encourage you to investigate the following before contacting us:

To find a local therapist and/or psychiatrist...

  • Contact your insurance provider for a list of local providers who accept your insurance. Look at your insurance card or insurance-company website for information about how to do so.
  • Your insurance carrier may have a provision for teletherapy services. Contact your insurance company for information.
  • Your primary-care doctor’s office may be able to provide referral suggestions to you.
  • Psychology Today will allow you to locate local therapists who accept your insurance.
  • You may want to consider online mental health services such as TalkSpace.
  • Students who remain abroad can contact the College’s iSOS program for referral assistance while abroad.
  • 211.org. Type in your zipcode for local information about Essential Needs, Crisis and Emergency, Covid-19, Service Providers, and Disaster Assistance.
What do I do if I am experiencing a mental health crisis?
  • Go to your local hospital emergency department.
  • Use the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Use the crisis text line: 741741
Will the College alert us if a student or employee is being tested for COVID-19?

The college will NOT send a campus-wide notification in the event of a student or employee being tested for COVID-19. If a student or employee is being tested, others with whom they have come into “close contact” would be notified, encouraged to self-isolate, and remain alert for symptoms. No one else would be notified under these circumstances.

Close contact is defined as: being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time (about 10 minutes). Close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case OR having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on, sharing utensils, keyboard, writing instruments).

Will the College alert us if there is a positive case on campus?

Per Department of Health recommendations, the College will send a campus-wide notification whenever a student or employee test comes back positive. In this situation, campus wide means only those students on campus and employees. Those who have been in “close contact” with the individual testing positive will be notified directly.

Close contact is defined as: being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time (about 10 minutes). Close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case OR having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on, sharing utensils, keyboard, writing instruments).

To protect the privacy of the employees and students, the name of the individual will not be released to the public.

How will we be notified?

Immediate Notifications will be sent via email alerting the campus community of a positive case. Text messaging will not be used for these general notifications.

If a student who is currently on campus has tested positive, the College will be in touch with their parents or guardians.

How do I know if I’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive?
For any positive case of a community member, the College will work with the Department of Health to screen and assess who the community member has been in contact with, in which areas of campus, and when their last day was on campus. With this information, the College will alert those who have been in regular contact of “close contact” as defined by the CDC and encourage those individuals to practice social distancing and self-monitor. Additionally, the College will alert facilities services to do a deep cleaning of the impacted areas.

Health and wellness guides

Emotional wellness and COVID-19

Counseling Services has produced a guide for confronting the emotional challenges presented by the Coronavirus crisis.