On Wednesday, March 11, University Health Services (UHS) suspended all routine appointments for medical services and occupational health services, including primary care follow ups, physical exams, and medical checkups.
The emergency announcement was made on Tuesday, and became effective the following day, to “allow UHS to focus its resources on preparations for and response to COVID-19.” Students whose appointments are being changed or cancelled will be contacted, according to the UHS website.
“McCosh Health Center remains open for urgent, acute care needs for students, including students seeking care for COVID-19,” the website notes.
“University Health Services remains equipped and prepared to see students with coronavirus at the McCosh Health Center and is in frequent communication with the NJ Department of Health,” University Deputy Spokesperson Mike Hotchkiss added in a statement.
With regards to treatment for physical injuries, “nothing seems to have changed” says Eric Wang, a second-year graduate student who was admitted earlier today for a dislocated jaw. All other UHS services — including Athletic Medicine, BASICS, Laboratory, Radiology, SHARE, and the Student Health Plan office — will continue to operate, though with potential modifications.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) will be “moving all clinical sessions to a remote, telehealth session, beginning March 16,” according to the UHS announcement. As of 2:15 p.m., it is still possible to schedule in-person CPS sessions. However, a special instructions box appears, recommending the alternative of “video conferencing with your provider remotely.”
The updated procedures follow the University’s “social distancing recommendations” that aim to reduce the amount of time spent in large groups.
Travel Health Appointments also remain open.
However, UHS has recommended waiting until April to book non-urgent appointments, according to a student who called to book an appointment on Wednesday.
“They called me in to come earlier,” says Jae Yoon ’23, an undergraduate who was at UHS this morning for the second of a three-part Rabies vaccination, in preparation for international summer travel to Uganda.
Yoon described his visit this morning — wherein he was the only student in the healthy patient waiting area — as “unexpectedly quiet.” He only saw one other patient in the UHS building, sitting in the sick person area.
Yoon’s final Rabies vaccination session is set for March 25. He wanted to cancel the appointment, but was told to attend, otherwise the entire Rabies vaccination series, which costs upwards of $900, would be invalid.
He plans to drive back to campus if UHS Travel Health remains open.
“They said they will call if anything happens,” Yoon says.