The following questions are among those that parents frequently ask Welty Health Center staff, either by phone or e-mail. We hope that by sharing them on this site you have an additional resource in the event the staff is caring for patients and unable to take phone calls immediately.

Q. What should my student do if they become ill with flu symptoms?

A. They should go to the Welty Health Center (24/7) and request a flu screening.

Q. What happens if my student has the flu?

A. They will be given a health packet that includes supplies and instructions for isolation and instructed to self-isolate until their symptoms resolve.

Q. How will my student get food?

A. Students can request a "sick meal" from dining services; the residence life staff can help with the order and delivery. Students who live off campus usually have a friend who helps them with meals.

Q. How do students get excused from class?

A. Ill students fill out a form at the Welty Health Center. The staff there will confirm the illness and notify the Dean of Students office, which in turn notifies professors. Students will still be required to speak with their professor/s after they are well to determine the plan for any "make up" work they need to complete.

Q. What if they need a prescription?

A. The flu is not typically treated with medication. But if your student needs a prescription filled for some other reason, the college uses a pharmacy that delivers to the Welty Health Center. Friends, roommates and/or residence life staff can pick it up from the center.

Q. What if my student’s roommate is ill? Can they sleep in the same room?

A. While this likely would mean that your student is already exposed, he or she may or may not become ill. So, yes - they can sleep in the same room. HOWEVER - we continue to advise students to maintain a social distance of 6 feet and increase their personal hygiene. All students who come through the Health Center will get detailed instructions on isolation so the ill student can help prevent the spread of their illness.

Q. Does my student need to see a physician?

A. Most students only need to see a physician if complications develop. The illness usual resolves itself in 3-5 days. If, following a symptom screening by a Health Center nurse, a student is placed in the “high-risk” group (as determined by the CDC), they will be evaluated by a Welty Health Center physician on Monday-Friday or transported to Urgent Care over the weekend.

Q. When can my student go back to class?

A. After they are fever-free for 24 hours, without fever-reducing medication and/or the acute symptoms of the illness have been resolved.

Q. Will anyone check on my student during their illness?

A. Absolutely yes. A nurse or volunteer will call your student within a few days following of their visit to the Welty Health Center. Plus, the RAs are ever-watchful in the residence halls. Please remind your student to notify their RA of their illness if they live in a residence hall.

Please feel free to submit questions by e-mail to Tracee Anderson, Pandemic Planning Team Chair: anderstl@whitman.edu or Claudia Ness, RN, interim director, Welty Health Center: nesscl@whitman.edu