After you have been interviewed by the COVID-19 Response Team (CRT), you will be given instructions for what to do next. If you have been advised to get tested, see COVID-19 Testing for locations and information.
Isolation vs. quarantine
COVID-19 cases and close contacts must follow different procedures in order to be cleared to return to campus.
It is important to note that every single situation is different, and the CRT provides guidance to each person in accordance with their specific health conditions and circumstances.
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must keep in contact with the CRT and can only return to campus once they have received a clearance email from the CRT.
Below are several general guidelines and important terms defined.
- A case is someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
- A close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated or their infectious period ends.
Isolation is when a person tests positive for COVID-19 and therefore must be separated from other people. The person should remain isolated during their entire infectious period from the time of 2 days before onset until they meet ALL the following criteria:
- at least 10 days after onset of illness (after date that first positive lab specimen collected in the case of an asymptomatic person) AND
- no fever (without fever-reducing medications) for at least 24 hours, AND
- all other symptoms improved.
Quarantine is when a person has had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and therefore must separate themselves from other people. This needs to occur from the time of exposure to a person with COVID-19 infection until:
- 7 days (with a negative PCR test on day 6 or 7) after the LAST exposure OR
- 10 days after the LAST exposure
Please note that up until day 14 an individual must wear a mask at all times around other people and be extra cautious regardless if released at day 7 or 10. Additionally, they must monitor themselves for symptoms through at least day 14.
Please see examples of scenarios regarding quarantine.
When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention
Most people with COVID-19 infection will gradually improve at home. However, some get more severely ill. Please contact your medical provider or call 911 immediately if you have:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
Please also call your medical provider if you experience any symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Returning after quarantine
Students and employees coming back to campus after close contact must fulfill one of the following:
- Quarantine a full 14 days (the original length and the gold standard for minimal risk of exposure) OR
- Quarantine 10 days with NO test necessary OR
- Quarantine 7 days with a negative PCR test taken on day 6 or 7 (you must have received your negative test before you can return)
It is your responsibility to request clearance. Once you have met all the conditions, contact the COVID-19 Response Team. We will provide you with a clearance email.
Other criteria for clearance
Returning after isolation
Students and employees coming back to campus after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis must follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for returning.
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (symptomatic):
- Wait at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms; AND
- Have no fever for at least 24 hours (without using fever-reducing medications); AND
- Have had all other symptoms improve.
If you are NOT experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (asymptomatic):
- Wait at least 10 days from the day of the test.
It is your responsibility to request clearance. Once you have met all the conditions, contact the CRT. You can only return to campus once you have received a clearance email from the CRT.