COVID-19 Impacts Student Health and Counseling Services

By Taylor Morris, CONTRIBUTOR

Isolation and social distancing are considered to be normal today, and health centers are required to implement these practices.
California State University, East Bay’s Student Health & Counseling Services (SHCS), aids students in maintaining their physical and mental health while they work towards their academic career.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, counselors, and health promotion staff see their patients differently this year.
The following services are typically offered at the SHCS center: Appointments & Urgent Care, Counseling, Health Education, HIV Testing, Immunizations, Laboratory, Men’s Health, Pharmacy, Radiology, Smoking Cessation, and Women’s Health.
“We have pivoted to a predominantly virtual model of service for medical care, but it is not exclusively remote,” Abayomi Jones, Executive Director of SHCS said in an email interview.
Physical examinations, laboratory tests, radiology, or any other service that requires a patient to be present at the SHCS center are processed quite differently this year.
“We have in-person appointments on Thursdays, to accommodate the needs of our students and deliver services that are not reasonably completed virtually,” Jones said.
Appointments on Thursdays go between the hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and can be booked at https:/ She noted that the SHCS center has been having in-person appointments at least once per week since June 2020.
Counseling appointments are all virtual and available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., while crisis intervention and group counseling are available daily.
“We are able to use Zoom Health to hear and interact with students directly and privately and have not seen a decline in participation for individual or group therapy sessions,” Jones said.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are several new policies to abide by such as wearing masks, self-isolating, and social distancing. It completely changes the way the SHCS center operates, however, students are still able to receive the physical and emotional help they may need during these trying times.