Health & Wellness

SSU encourages campus members to take certain active measures to protect against influenza-like illness and respiratory infections. The most important of these measures are:

  • Practice social distancing
  • Follow all shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders to ensure you are doing your part to protect public health and your own health.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based rub frequently and avoid touching your face as much as possible.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow, not your hands.
  • Get a flu shot, if you have not already done so. It is not too late, and you are more likely to encounter influenza viruses than you are to be exposed to COVID-19. 
  • If you take medication or receive medical treatments that result in immunosuppression, contact your health-care provider for advice and guidance regarding any additional measures that might be recommended for you.

Health & Wellness FAQs

Should I wear a mask?

The Sonoma County Health Officer requires that, effective 12:01 am on Friday, April 17, 2020, everyone must wear face coverings in any indoor facility besides their residence, in any enclosed open space, or while outdoors when unable to maintain a six-foot distance from another person at all times. For more information, read the order from the county health officer.

Please remember that non-medical grade face coverings are intended to protect others from the wearer’s respiratory droplets, and are meant to supplement — but not substitute for — measures such as physical distancing and frequent hand-washing, which continue to be the most effective methods for reducing the spread of COVID-19. Public health officials continue to ask that people not use N-95 or surgical masks for these purposes, since those are in short supply in the health care community.

There continue to be ongoing discussions among public health officials and other experts as to which are the most effective face mask materials; the university supports and encourages  the use of acceptable options, including bandanas, neck gaiters, scarves and homemade face coverings that have tightly woven fabrics, such as cotton T-shirts and tea towels. The CDC has published helpful instructions for making your own face covering (PDF).

The university has placed an order for non-medical cloth face coverings and has a system in place for all on-site essential employees to receive face coverings as needed. On-site essential employees who do not have a face covering and are in need, please contact

What is the difference between 'quarantine' and 'isolation'?

Isolation and quarantine are public health practices used to stop or limit the spread of disease.

Isolation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases. For example, hospitals use isolation for patients with the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to the coronavirus to see if they become ill. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. 

What should I do if I need to self-quarantine?

Follow these steps to monitor your health and practice social distancing:

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  • Self-isolate in a room by yourself with your own bathroom for 14 days. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
  • Do not take public transportation, taxis or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  • Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  • Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

What to do if you get sick:

  • If you get sick with fever (100.4 degrees Farhenheit/38°C or higher), cough or have trouble breathing:
  • Seek medical care. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
  • Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.

I am stressed and do not know what to do.

As with any disaster, COVID-19 can lead to additional stress and worry to members of our community, including those who have personal connections to affected areas. This is a critically important time for all of us to reinforce a community and to support one another. Should you feel you need assistance, we encourage you to seek out support and information from the many organizations that are here for you. 

  • Student may access Counseling and Psychological Services remotely by scheduling an appointment with a counselor. An on-call counselor is available 24/7 by calling (707) 664-2153 and following the instructions to talk to a counselor immediately. CAPS also offers tips for managing Coronavirus concerns to manage stress during this time.
  • Faculty and staff can rely on the Employee Assistance Program which offers confidential support for a variety of concerns, including emotional, relationship, health, legal and workplace issues. Information, resources and tools are available by calling (707) 664-2793 or visiting the EAP website.
  • Faculty and staff who feel they need to take leave or seek an accommodation can contact the appropriate person: Renee Senander in Human Resources or Sally Russo in Faculty Affairs, as per SSU's usual procedures.
  • The state of California has published a series of guides to help manage stress that you might find helpful.
  • Sonoma County has established a warm line that is available to any county resident experiencing emotional side effects of the pandemic and/or the shelter in place order, or knows somebody who is. This free and private warm line is available seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. by calling 707-565-2652. Service in Spanish is also available as well as telephone interpretation for other languages.