Navigating health and wellness during the season of illness

Infectious diseases such as flu, COVID-19 and RSV are more prevalent during this time of the year. To ensure your well-being, it’s important to be informed and proactive. Please review the information below for important health and safety resources. 

What should I do if I am not feeling well? 

Sickness can occur even when taking the utmost precautions. If you are not feeling well, please seek medical evaluation and follow the university’s infectious disease protocols. 

  • COVID-19 testing is provided at these locations; home tests can also be purchased at some pharmacies. 

Stopping the spread  

If you aren’t feeling well, stay home. Be sure to avoid public spaces such as classes and dining halls, and wear a mask at all times if you do need to go out. If you test positive for COVID-19 or any other contagious illness, follow the advice of your medical providers and isolate, as needed, in your place of residence. For more information on isolation for COVID-19, click here 


Flu and COVID-19 vaccines are available for all. For people older than 60, an RSV vaccine is also available.  

  • Staying up to date with your COVID vaccines and boosters is the best way to protect yourself from serious illness and help keep our community safe.  
    • Vanderbilt students can contact Student Health to schedule a vaccine if interested.   
    • Vaccines are available for faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars at Occupational Health. Occupational Health will bill your insurance. You can also find vaccines at retail clinics and pharmacies throughout our region, or talk to your primary care doctor or family pediatrician. VU insurance covers 100 percent of the cost of the vaccination.  
  • Masks can help to protect you from spreading and receiving respiratory germs — for most illnesses, not just COVID-19. Wear a mask around others if you are not feeling well, have had a recent sick contact or are at a higher risk of infection.
  • Wash your hands regularly to help prevent the spread of infection.

FAQ for students 

How do I get food if I am too ill to make it to the dining hall? 

  • If you are feeling sick, stay home. A roommate, friend or acquaintance may use your meal swipe to get you food to go. Visit the Campus Dining website to view the daily menu. 

What if I cannot make it to class? 

  • If you are feeling sick, stay home and do not attend class. Students should individually contact their instructors to discuss a plan to access class material and make up missed work.   

Visit the Health and Wellness website for more information and resources.