Health & Wellness Center

The Health & Wellness Center is an urgent care facility with the convenience of being on the Saint Mary's College campus. Our staff provides preventative and clinical services with compassion, integrity and the integration of the mind, body, and spirit.

***Student COVID-19 Reporting Update 4/15/2020***

Dear SMC Students, 

I wanted to provide a follow-up health communication regarding COVID-19 reporting. In my last update to you, I asked students to inform the Health and Wellness Center if they had confirmed COVID-19 (i.e. have been tested and found to be positive) or if they had a suspected case of COVID-19. This information allows us to understand and reduce the spread of the illness as well as to provide critical information to Contra Costa Health Services. Here are some updates since that communication.  

  • The College has been made aware that one current Saint Mary’s student who has not been on campus this semester, has been tested and confirmed positive for COVID-19. The student was tested in their hometown, self-isolated and has fully recovered. All students who are known contacts have been notified. Because the student has not been on campus, there is no risk to the general community. 
  • This is a reminder of the importance of reporting confirmed COVID-19 to our Health and Wellness Center (H&WC), so that we can trace any known contacts and continue to protect the health of the community. The H&WC can be reached at (925) 631-4254. 
  • It is important for us all to recognize that there is transmission of COVID-19 in the Bay Area and we should assume that COVID-19 is in all communities. Because we know that there will be cases that may not be identified or confirmed, it is essential that we all continue to take steps to protect ourselves and the community at large. Contra Costa Health Services has great information on steps to take to prevent illness in yourself and others.
  • The H&WC would like to help answer community questions about COVID-19. You can submit COVID-19 questions to the H&WC here. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) will be posted on the H&WC website.

I want to again recommend Contra Costa Health Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and California Department of Public Health as reliable resources for the most updated information regarding COVID-19. The SMC Coronavirus (COVID) Information & Resources page provides information about what is taking place in our SMC community and includes helpful resources that remain open on campus should you have questions or need support. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at the H&WC by calling (925) 631-4254 or emailing healthcenter@stmarys-ca.edu if you have any questions. You can also visit our H&WC website for office information. 

 

Be well,

Rachel Snowden, FNP-BC

Medical Director

Health and Wellness Center

 

***Student COVID-19 Reporting 4/6/2020)***

Dear students,

I have some important information for you regarding COVID-19 infection rates and protocols at SMC. I know it’s long, but please read this email in its entirety to keep yourself informed and our community safe.

  • At this time we are not aware of any confirmed COVID-19 cases in our campus community. A confirmed COVID-19 case means that a person has been tested for COVID-19 and notified that the result was positive. 
  • It is important for us all to recognize that there is transmission of COVID-19 in the Bay Area and we should assume that COVID-19 is in all communities. Because we know that there will be cases that may not be identified or confirmed, it is essential that we all continue to take steps to protect ourselves and the community at large. Contra Costa Health Services has great information on steps to take to prevent illness in yourself and others. 
  • With the spread of the virus and its profound impact on the broader community, the Contra Costa Public Health Department cannot commit to informing Saint Mary’s College of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its students and employees. For this reason, students with confirmed COVID-19 (i.e. have been tested and found to be positive) are expected to notify the Saint Mary’s College Health and Wellness Center (H&WC) of their diagnosis. If they are living on campus, you will be expected to remain isolated and we will initiate the process of meal delivery and isolation support. An integral part of protecting others is informing the H&WC if/when you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 so that the College can inform those in the community who may have been exposed so they can engage in self-quarantine. 
  • SMC students living on campus who are engaging in self-isolation at the direction of their healthcare provider due to COVID-19 symptoms are encouraged to inform the Health and Wellness Center as well, even if they have not been tested. This will allow meal delivery and isolation support to be initiated. All students are welcome to call the H&WC for advice and guidance regarding COVID-19 at (925) 631-4254. After hours you will be connected to a nurse advice line. 

At this unprecedented time, I want to recommend Contra Costa Health Services, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and California Department of Public Health as reliable resources for the most updated information regarding COVID-19. The SMC Coronavirus (COVID) Information & Resources page provides information about what is taking place in our SMC community and includes helpful resources that remain open on campus should you have questions or need support. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at the H&WC by calling (925) 631-4254 if you have any questions. You can also visit our H&WC website for office information. 

Be well,

Rachel Snowden, FNP-BC
Medical Director

Health and Wellness Center

March 19, 2020:

Please visit the Coronavirus (COVID) Information and Resources page for the most current information related to the College's response to COVID-19. On this page you will find helpful FAQ's, including those related to community health. However, some helpful links to reference for the most current COVID-19 information are:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Contra Costa Health Services

California Department of Public Health

Please see below for information related to our Health and Wellness Center services.

Thank you,

Health and Wellness Center

***Effective Thursday, March 12, 2020***

The Health and Wellness Center (H&WC) is now requiring that students call us at (925) 631-4254 for any needs. When you call, we will assess your symptoms and determine the best treatment plan.

We are making this change to decrease the transmission of respiratory illnesses in our community. We strongly recommend staying in your room or going to your permanent residence if you have any cold and flu symptoms.

Our front door will remain locked, but our business hours will remain the same. You can call the H&WC during our normal hours, after hours you will be connected to a nurse advice line.

If we have scheduled an appointment for you, we will ensure that you can enter through the front door for your scheduled appointment time.

Thank you for your help in protecting the health of our SMC community!

– Health and Wellness Center    

Hours:                    

H&WC Hours:

Monday - Friday 8:30am-4:30pm**    

**Wednesday 10:00am-4:30pm

*Closed daily from 12:00pm-1:00pm

*Last appointment at 3:15pm Monday-Friday

Cost:

Visits at the H&WC cost $10, to be paid at the time of service.**

**Students who are unable to pay will still receive health care services, please do not hesitate to come to the H&WC for medical needs. Upon making your appointment, or when you sign-in, please notify the H&WC staff that you are unable to pay the fee.

***COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Update (3/4/2020) ***

Dear Saint Mary’s Community,

Last night, the Contra Costa Health Services Department (CCHS) reported the first positive case of COVID-19 in Contra Costa County.  The person had no travel history and no known contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. CCHS provided further information, including that they are currently investigating anyone who may have come into close contact with the patient. At this time, it is important to remain calm and not panic. The recommendations for the community remain the same to prevent the spread of the disease.  Per Contra Costa Health Services:

You can minimize your risk of becoming infected or spreading COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses by:

  • Washing your hands with soap and water frequently, and using alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the crook of your elbow (not your hands)
  • Staying home from school or work when you are sick
  • Plan ahead for childcare in case children get sick and need to stay home from school
  • Avoiding travel when you are sick
  • Avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Limiting unnecessary trips and avoid crowded public spaces when possible
  • Telecommuting when possible
  • If you are sick, wear a mask when you go out in public or visit the doctor

CCHS does not recommend wearing a mask to avoid becoming infected with a respiratory disease. Masks can be effective when worn by someone who is already sick to prevent the spread of their disease.

COVID-19 Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

If you have a fever and cough, trouble breathing or have traveled to an area with sustained (ongoing) transmission* in the past 14 days, call you healthcare provider.

  • IMPORTANT: PLEASE CALL FIRST before going to the Health and Wellness Center, your healthcare provider, or an emergency room. Most of the time cold and flu symptoms can be managed from home to decrease the spread of illness. If it is determined that you need medical care, a call alerts health personnel of potential transmission and they can prepare prior for your arrival.
    • If you are an undergraduate or international graduate student you can call us at the Health and Wellness Center at (925) 631-4254. If the H&WC is closed, you will be connected to a nurse advice line where you can discuss your symptoms and what to do next.
    • For graduate students, faculty and staff, you can call the Contra Costa County Public Health Department at 925-313-6740 for instructions about where to go if you do not have a healthcare provider.
    • If you have a mask to wear over your mouth and nose, please wear it when you visit your healthcare provider or clinic. If not, please ask for one upon your arrival.

*The current countries with sustained (ongoing) transmission include China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea. This list may change rapidly so check the CDC travel advisory page.

The CDC is currently expanding its criteria for testing for COVID-19 as more tests become available.

It is important to remember that this is a very fluid situation and information can change rapidly. The CDC and CCHS are great resources to read the most up to date information. Additionally, here is a helpful FAQ about COVID-19 from the California Department of Public Health.

Lastly, I would like to again reassure you that the Health and Wellness Center is working closely with Contra Costa Health Services and other College departments to continuously assess and proactively plan to maintain the health of the campus community. The College is also monitoring the developments for our area and our campus and is developing contingency plans for instruction and business in the event of a direct impact for our campus.  Facilities Services has already begun enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols for public spaces and classrooms.  For updates, see the Responding to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) page. For updates on international travel, please visit the College’s International Travel Update Page.

Be well,

Rachel Snowden, FNP-BC

Medical Director

Health and Wellness Center

***Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Update (2/27/2020)***

 

Dear Saint Mary’s Community,

I am writing to provide an update on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). At this time, the Contra Costa Public Health Department has confirmed that two cases of COVID-19 from outside Contra Costa are being treated at hospitals in the county. While there are people being treated for COVID-19, they did not contract COVID-19 within our county. There is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Solano County and there remains no cases of COVID-19 that have been contracted in Contra Costa County.

At this time, in the midst of cold and flu season, it is of utmost importance that we each do our part to protect the health of our community. Some measures that you can take to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses include the following:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water;
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands; 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Stay away from work, school, or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough;
  • Get your flu shot.

It is important to remember that the symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to those of a cold or flu. The overall risk of COVID-19 in our community at this time is low, so it is more likely that a cough or fever is related to another virus.

COVID-19 Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

If you have these symptoms AND have been in China within the past 14 days or have been in close contact with someone who has been in the area, seek medical care right away.

  • CALL FIRST before going to see a doctor or emergency room.
    • If you are an undergraduate or international graduate student you can call us at the Health and Wellness Center at (925) 631-4254. If the H&WC is closed, you will be connected to a nurse advice line where you can discuss your symptoms and what to do next.
    • For graduate students, faculty and staff, you can call the Contra Costa County Public Health Department at 925-313-6740 for instructions about where to go if you do not have a healthcare provider.
  • If you have a mask to wear over your mouth and nose, please wear it as you present to your health care provider or clinic. If not, please ask for one upon your arrival.
  • Tell them your symptoms and that you were in China or directly exposed to someone who was.

This is a very fluid situation and it is important to remember that information and recommendations can change very quickly. For the most up-to-date information, I recommend looking at the Contra Costa Health Services Department and CDC websites.  Additionally, here is a helpful FAQ about COVID-19.

Lastly, I would like to reassure you that the Health and Wellness Center is working closely with the Contra Costa Public Health Department and other College departments to continuously assess and proactively plan to maintain the health of the campus community. While we are aware that there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Solano County, the risk of COVID-19 to our community continues to remain low. For updates on international travel, please visit the College’s International Travel Update Page.

Be well,

Rachel Snowden, FNP-BC

Medical Director

Health and Wellness Center

***Novel Coronavirus Update (2/2/2020)***

Dear students, faculty and staff,

We know that many of you are traveling for Jan Term break and may be returning home from Study Abroad or Jan Term travel. We wanted to remind you to take care of yourself and provide some useful tips from the CDC for preventing seasonal flu.

 

Currently, the risk of influenza (flu) is much higher than novel coronavirus and we are seeing many influenza cases in Contra Costa County. To provide a comparison, while there are 8 confirmed US cases of novel coronavirus so far with one in Santa Clara, the CDC reports that as of this week there have been at least 19 million flu illnesses, 180,000 hospitalizations and sadly 10,000 deaths from the flu (from October 2019-January 25, 2020).

One of the best ways that you can proactively protect your health is to get a flu vaccine. Here is more information on flu prevention and where to get your vaccine.  It is also important for all of us to help reduce the spread of illness, which means taking care of ourselves and staying home when we are ill.

Also, we know there is a lot of information out there about the novel coronavirus and we wanted to provide an update. It is important to remember that at this time there are no cases of novel coronavirus in Contra Costa County. However, the situation is fluid and it's always important to check the CCC Public Health Department, as well as the CDC, for the latest information.

 

SYMPTOMS OF NOVEL CORONAVIRUS include: fever, cough and difficulty breathing

If you have these symptoms AND have been in Wuhan, China within the past 14 days or have been in close contact with someone who has been in the area, seek medical care right away.

  • Call ahead before going to see a doctor or emergency room. If you are an undergraduate or international graduate student you can call us at the Health and Wellness Center at (925) 631-4254. If the H&WC is closed, you will be connected to a nurse advice line where you can discuss your symptoms and what to do next. For graduate students, faculty and staff, you can call the Contra Costa County Public Health Department at 925-313-6740 for instructions about where to go if you do not have a healthcare provider.
  • If you have a mask to wear over your mouth and nose, please wear it as you present to your health care provider or clinic. If not, please ask for one upon your arrival.

Tell them your symptoms and that you were in Wuhan or directly exposed to someone who was.

Be well,

Health and Wellness Center

***Novel Coronavirus (1/24/2020)***

Dear students, faculty and staff,

We wanted to share some information with you regarding the current news around novel coronavirus. Per the Contra Costa County Public Health Department, "a novel (new) coronavirus is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. The outbreak began in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in early December 2019. On Jan. 21, 2020, the first U.S. case was reported in Washington state."

Importantly, "Contra Costa residents are at low risk of becoming infected unless they have recently traveled in or near Wuhan or have come in close contact with someone who recently traveled in that area."

SYMPTOMS OF NOVEL CORONAVIRUS include: fever, cough and difficulty breathing

If you have these symptoms AND have been in Wuhan within the past 14 days or have been in close contact with someone who has been in the area, seek medical care right away.

  • Call ahead before going to see a doctor or emergency room. If you are an undergraduate or international graduate student you can call us at the Health and Wellness Center at (925) 631-4254. If the H&WC is closed, you will be connected to a nurse advice line where you can discuss your symptoms and what to do next. For graduate students, faculty and staff, you can call the Contra Costa County Public Health Department at 925-313-6740 for instructions about where to go if you do not have a healthcare provider.
  • If you have a mask to wear over your mouth and nose, please wear it as you present to your health care provider or clinic. If not, please ask for one upon your arrival.
  • Tell them your symptoms and that you were in Wuhan

It is important to remember that at this time there are no cases of novel coronavirus in Contra Costa County or California at large. However, the situation is fluid and it's always important to check the CCC Public Health Department, as well as the CDC, for updates.

Currently, the risk of influenza (flu) is much higher than novel coronavirus and we are seeing many influenza cases in Contra Costa County. One of the best ways that you can proactively protect your health is to get a flu vaccine. Here is more information on flu prevention and where to get your vaccine.

Be well,

Health and Wellness Center