Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus disease)

Date:2020.04.02


This list of FAQ for students, faculty and staff members has been prepared based on regular inquiries made to the Keio University Health Center regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus disease). It will continue to be updated as required. Please refer to it for more information. If you belong to an affiliated school or are based at the Shinanomachi Campus, please follow the policies of the school or campus.

About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (Keio University Health Center)
Q&A on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare)

What is COVID-19?

Q1:What is COVID-19?
Q2:What is meant by "underlying medical conditions" that can exacerbate the symptoms of COVID-19?

Preventing infection / How to spend your time during the university closure / Hosting of events and group activities

Q3:I would like to know about the university's policies and the hosting of ceremonies.
Q4: I would like to consult with the Health Center. Please inform me of the center's contact details.
Q5:We are planning an event at which many people are due to attend. Will it still be okay to go ahead with the event as scheduled?Additionally, will we be able to obtain hand disinfectants and masks from the Health Center for use during the event?
Q6: Multiple cold-like symptoms have been reported by the clubs of the Athletic Association, etc. As there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19, will it be okay for the clubs to continue with their activities?
Q7:The university is closed. How should I spend my time until the university reopens?
Q8:Does "refraining from going outside" mean that I should stay at home all day long? It is really disheartening to think that I cannot eat out, go to the gym, attend lessons, or otherwise get a change of scenery.

If you have symptoms / Reporting to the Health Center

Q9: I have a fever (37.5℃ or above). What should I do?
Q10:Should I interpret the instruction for people who have cold-like symptoms such as a cough or fever (37.5℃ or above) to refrain from coming to the university or place of work to mean that COVID-19 is an infectious disease designated by the School Health and Safety Act? I will not be able to receive a medical certificate unless I visit a hospital. Will I still be able to carry out the required procedures at the Health Center without a medical certificate?
Q11:I have a fever and was diagnosed with influenza. From when will I be able to return to the university or my place of work?
Q12:I have a fever and was diagnosed with infectious gastroenteritis. From when will I be able to return to the university or my place of work?
Q13:I am being treated for hay fever. I cannot tell whether I am sneezing, have a runny nose, and an impaired sense of smell and taste because of my hay fever, a regular cold, or the coronavirus (COVID-19). Is it okay for me to come to work as normal?

If you have had contact or possible contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19 / Reporting to the Health Center

Q14:Under what circumstances is a person considered to have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
Q15:I am considered to be a person who has had close contact with a COVID-19 patient and have been instructed to stay at home for two weeks by the Health Center (my place of work). During this period, is it okay for me to visit a hospital/clinic or go shopping?
Q16: I have had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 without adequate protection to prevent infection. Will it still be okay for me to come into the university or my place of work?
Q17: I have had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 upon taking the necessary precautions to prevent infection. Am I permitted to come into the university or my place of work?
Q18: I know someone who has contracted COVID-19 at my campus/place of work. I am unsure as to whether or not I had contact with this person. What should I do?

If diagnosed with COVID-19 / Reporting to the Health Center

Q19: I have been diagnosed with COVID-19 at a medical institution. What should I do?

Disinfectants, masks

Q20:Alcohol-based hand disinfectants are no longer being sold. What should I do?
Q21:Masks are no longer being sold. What should I do?

About COVID-19

Q1:What is COVID-19?
A1: Please refer to the website of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
Q&A on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Q2: What is meant by "underlying medical conditions" that can exacerbate the symptoms of COVID-19?
A2:Underlying medical conditions refer to disorders such as diabetes, heart failure, and respiratory disease (COPD, etc.) as well as to people who are currently undergoing dialysis or using immunosuppressants, carcinostatic (anticancer) drugs, etc.

Preventing infection / How to spend your time during the university closure / Hosting of events and group activities

Q3:I would like to know about the university's policies and the hosting of ceremonies.
A3:Please refer to the top page of the Keio University website.
[Important Notice] Pneumonia Associated with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Q4: I would like to consult with the Health Center. Please inform me of the center's contact details.
A4:Please get in touch by phoning the Health Center on your campus or use the online inquiry form.
Contact details for the Keio University Health Centers
Inquiry form

Q5:We are planning an event at which many people are due to attend. Will it still be okay to go ahead with the event as scheduled?Additionally, will we be able to obtain hand disinfectants and masks from the Health Center for use during the event?
A5:Please refer to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare as to whether an event should be held or not.
For the prevention of mass infections of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare)
Furthermore, please contact the Keio University Infection Response Center for COVID-19 concerning events hosted by Keio University.
Keio University Infection Response Center for COVID-19

The Health Center is not able to prepare disinfectants and masks for use at events.

Q6:Multiple cold-like symptoms have been reported by clubs of the Athletic Association, etc. As there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19, will it be okay for the clubs to continue with their activities?
A6:Please refer to "Reporting an Infectious Disease Designated by the School Health and Safety Act" and follow the same procedures as would be taken for an infectious disease designated by the act.
Reporting an Infectious Disease Designated by the School Health and Safety Act

Q7:The university is closed. How should I spend my time until the university reopens?
A7:The university is closed to prevent the spread of infection by COVID-19. Please refrain from going outside unless absolutely necessary. Please be sure to keep an eye on your health and look after your physical condition by getting sufficient sleep and nutritional intake, and by keeping well hydrated. Please enforce a strict regimen of hand washing and follow the cough etiquette.

Preventing respiratory infections such as COVID-19


Q8:Does "refraining from going outside" mean that I should stay at home all day long? It is really disheartening to think that I cannot eat out, go to the gym, attend lessons, or otherwise get a change of scenery.
A8:To "refrain from going outside" is to avoid leaving the house when it is unnecessary or nonurgent (this does not include matters that have to be dealt with that day). It means avoiding any gatherings where the three dangers of "Closed spaces," "Crowded places," and "Close-contact setting" coincide as well as not going out for meals or the night.
As yet open-ended requests are being made to refrain from going outside, which invites anxiety and can lead to stress. There are also likely many people who feel it is no longer safe to touch anything due to suffering from corona-phobia or a fear of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease).
Going for walks in the early morning and at night when there are fewer people around, or taking up yoga, stretching, pilates, etc., indoors can help refresh the mind and body. Additionally, communicating with friends and acquaintances using Line and e-mail or over the phone can also help alleviate feelings of loneliness. You could also take this opportunity to do things you weren't able to find time for during your usual routine such as reading any books you have bought or watching movies and dramas you have recorded.

If you have symptoms / Reporting to the Health Center

Q9:I have a fever (37.5℃ or above). What should I do?
A9: ① Please stay at home if you have cold-like symptoms with a fever of 37.5℃ or above. Additionally, if these symptoms last for 4 days or more (approximately 2 days in the case of the elderly and persons with underlying medical conditions), or if you feel weary (fatigued) and experience shortness of breath (breathing difficulties), please consult with your nearest public health center by phone or call the phone consultation service and follow the instructions provided.

For the period you are to stay at home, use a health management chart to record and keep track of your temperature.

Health management chart (body temperature chart)

Please refrain from going outside unless absolutely necessary. If you do go outside, please wear a mask at all times and enforce a strict regimen of hand washing.

② Please report to the Health Center online.

Report form


③ Confirmation that your fever has subsided without the use of fever-reducing medicines (temperature is less than 37.0℃) and that you have remained in this condition for at least 48 hours are the criteria permitting your return to the university or place of work. Please bring your health management chart with you to the Health Center and attend an interview to determine whether or not you will be permitted to return to the university or place of work.

Permission of Return to Campus (students), Permission of Return to Campus (faculty and staff members)


Because the possibility of having been infected by COVID-19 cannot be completely refuted, after your fever has subsided, please wear a mask at all times and refrain from participating in group activities for which you will have to remove your mask (meals, club activities, etc.) for a period of two weeks.

Q10:Should I interpret the instruction for people who have cold-like symptoms such as a cough or fever (37.5℃ or above) to refrain from coming to the university or place of work to mean that COVID-19 is an infectious disease designated by the School Health and Safety Act? I will not be able to receive a medical certificate unless I visit a hospital. Will I still be able to carry out the required procedures at the Health Center without a medical certificate?
A10: Students Your case will be treated as an infectious disease designated by the School Health and Safety Act.
Faculty and Staff Members Your case will be treated as an infectious disease designated by the School Health and Safety Act. Please inquire at the Office of Human Resources Management or the General Affairs Office on your campus (Shinanomachi Office of Human Resources Management for Shinanomachi Campus).

Q11:I have a fever and was diagnosed with influenza. From when will I be able to return to the university or my place of work?
A11:Influenza is a Class 2 Infectious Disease as designated by the School Health and Safety Act. As a rule, you are not permitted to return to the university or place of work until five days after you first developed symptoms, and two days have passed since the fever subsided. (At least 48 hours must have elapsed after the fever has subsided for faculty and staff members.)
Please obtain permission to return to the university or place of work from the Health Center if you were diagnosed with influenza.

Report after infectious disease is resolved


Q12:I have a fever and was diagnosed with infectious gastroenteritis. From when will I be able to return to the university or my place of work?
A12:Infectious gastroenteritis (norovirus, rotavirus, etc.) falls under a Class 3 Infectious Disease as designated by the School Health and Safety Act. As a rule, you are not permitted to return to the university or place of work until your symptoms have resolved (as judged by the attending doctor).
Please obtain permission to return to the university or place of work from the Health Center if you were diagnosed with infectious gastroenteritis.

Report after infectious disease is resolved


Q13:I am being treated for hay fever. I cannot tell whether I am sneezing, have a runny nose, and an impaired sense of smell and taste because of my hay fever, a regular cold, or the coronavirus (COVID-19). Is it okay for me to come to work as normal?
A13:Even if you have been infected by COVID-19, in certain cases the symptoms resemble that of a mild cold or there are no symptoms at all, and it can be very difficult to distinguish from hay fever. Although the possibility of having caught COVID-19 cannot be discounted if you have symptoms resembling hay fever, it is very difficult to diagnose even if you do undergo an examination at a medical institution.
Please take your temperature every day and keep an eye on your health, and if there are any changes in your condition such as developing a fever, cough, or breathlessness, do not come into work and stay at home. If these symptoms last for 4 days or more (approximately 2 days in the case of the elderly and persons with underlying medical conditions), or if you feel weary (fatigued) and experience shortness of breath (breathing difficulties), please consult with your nearest public health center by phone or call the phone consultation service and follow the instructions provided.

If you have had contact or possible contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19 / Reporting to the Health Center

Q14:Under what circumstances is a person considered to have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
A14:The following are specific examples of close contact:
・You live with or were in prolonged contact (including inside vehicles, airplanes, etc.) with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (hereinafter "COVID-19 patient")
・You medically examined, nursed, or cared for a COVID-19 patient without adequate protection to prevent infection
・You directly touched contaminants such as respiratory secretions or bodily fluids of a COVID-19 patient
・You had a meal with a COVID-19 patient
・You touched with your hand a COVID-19 patient without taking the required protective measures to prevent infection
・You had contact with a COVID-19 patient by conversing with him or her in close proximity (roughly within 2m)

Q15: I am considered to be a person who has had close contact with a COVID-19 patient and have been instructed to stay at home for two weeks by the Health Center (my place of work). During this period, is it okay for me to visit a hospital/clinic or go shopping?
A15:Please refrain from going outside unless absolutely necessary. If you do go outside, please wear a mask at all times and enforce a strict regimen of hand washing. If symptoms appear while you are required to stay at home, please get in touch with the consultation center for returnees to Japan and people with potential exposure to COVID-19 and report the results of this consultation to the Health Center.

Q16:I have had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 without adequate protection to prevent infection. Will it still be okay for me to come into the university or my place of work?
A16:You will be considered as a person who has been in close contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19, and there is a possibility that you have also been infected. In consideration of the incubation period for the disease, please refrain from coming into the university or place of work for a period of two weeks. If symptoms appear while you are away from the university or place of work, please get in touch with the consultation center for returnees to Japan and people with potential exposure to COVID-19 and report the results of this consultation to the Health Center.

Q17:I have had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 upon taking the necessary precautions to prevent infection. Am I permitted to come into the university or my place of work?
A17:If you followed the guidelines in the "Appropriate Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Hand Hygiene" when you came in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and do not have any symptoms such as a fever (37.5℃ or above), you are permitted to come into the university or place of work as normal.

Q18:I know someone who has contracted COVID-19 at my campus/place of work. I am unsure as to whether or not I had contact with this person. What should I do?
A18:
① Notification from public health center
If someone tests positive for COVID-19, the relevant public health center will investigate the patient who has tested positive, confirm his or her movements, and identify anyone who is likely to have had close contact with the patient. If you have been identified as someone who is likely to have been in close contact with the patient, you will be contacted by the public health center (or the Keio University Health Center depending on the situation). Please follow the instructions that are provided.

② If you are worried despite not having received any notice from the public health center
Even if you have not been contacted by the public health center, there is no way of knowing where or when you may become infected. Please always pay heed to the condition of your health, wash your hands, etc., when going outside, and act with sufficient consideration for measures to prevent infection and the spread of COVID-19.

If diagnosed with COVID-19 / Reporting to the Health Center

Q19:I have been diagnosed with COVID-19 at a medical institution. What should I do?
A19:COVID-19 is regarded as a "Class 1 Infectious Disease," and you are not permitted to come into the university or place of work. Please immediately inform the Keio University Health Center if you have been diagnosed as infected or are suspected of being infected. Please follow the instructions you have been given from the medical institution you visited in regard to coming into the university or place of work.
Notification of an infectious disease

Disinfectants, masks

Q20:Alcohol-based hand disinfectants are no longer being sold. What should I do?
A20:Please wash your hands thoroughly.
A basic precaution against catching an infection via your hands, including COVID-19, is hand washing.
Hand washing
Although hand disinfectants are effective, unless a disinfectant with a sufficiently high concentration of alcohol (70% or more) to kill viruses is being used properly, its effect will diminish.
Even if you use a disinfectant, if you later touch door knobs, desks, telephones, etc., you will not be able to avoid infection.
Sodium hypochlorite is effective for disinfecting the surfaces of items around you such as door knobs. Wiping down and cleaning the surfaces of items that you regularly touch is also effective, including door knobs, window handles, desks, chairs, telephones, computer keyboards, faucets/taps, toilet lids, elevators, and photocopier buttons.

Q21:Masks are no longer being sold. What should I do?
A21:It is important to strictly follow cough etiquette and to avoid crowded places as far as possible.
Cough etiquette
If you do not have a mask, please cover your mouth and nose with a clean gauze or towel. If you cough or sneeze suddenly, please cover around your mouth with a sleeve or the inside of your jacket instead of just covering with your hands. Unless you use a mask properly, it will have limited effect. A mask cannot prevent infection if you mistakenly wear it back to front or if there is an opening.