When to quarantine:
Here are some examples of times when you should quarantine:
- You have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive or shown symptoms of COVID-19 (i.e. riding in a car, hanging out within 6 ft., engaging in intimate activities, attending a party or large gathering with more than 10 people, etc.)
- Someone you live with has tested positive or shown symptoms of COVID-19 (i.e. roommate, family member, housemate, etc.)
- When following local public health guidelines or stay-at-home orders
Remember that symptoms may be mild and feel like a common cold, especially early on. Early symptoms could include a combination of cough, body aches, fatigue and chest tightness. To reduce your need for repeated quarantine, you should limit the total number of people that you interact with socially. The fewer people that you are exposed to, the less likely you’ll have to quarantine repeatedly for the rest of the semester.
When to start quarantine:
You should begin quarantine immediately after potential exposure/close contact with a sick individual or once you have been instructed to quarantine by a healthcare provider or public health professional. Quarantine typically lasts 14 days after your last exposure. If you are re-exposed or make contact with another sick person, the 14 days period begins again. During this time period you will actively monitor your symptoms.
For instance, if you hang out with a friend who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is showing symptoms, begin quarantine as soon as you stop hanging out with them. If it is someone that you have had continued contact with, such as a coworker, quarantine should begin after your last contact with them.
If you live with someone who has tested positive or has symptoms of COVID-19, the quarantine period depends on if you can effectively separate yourself from that person.
- Able to avoid contact: If you are able to avoid contact with a sick person in your household (e.g. allowing them to isolate themselves in a separate bedroom or living area), then your quarantine can start as soon as you can avoid contact with that person.
- Unable to avoid contact: If you share a bedroom or living space with a sick individual and you cannot effectively avoid contact with them, you should stay home and avoid additional contact with anyone outside of your home/room until the person is no longer sick. Once the person is no longer infectious, you should begin a 14-day quarantine starting on that date.
What to do during quarantine:
If you are quarantining because of a local order, please adhere to local rules and ordinances. If you are quarantining because you may have been exposed, follow the recommendations below:
- Stay home. If you must go out, wear a face covering at all times, and maintain at least six feet of distance with others.
- If you think you've been exposed, complete your classes remotely. For in person classes, reach out to your faculty to let them know and do not attend in person. Notify your employer to let them know that you are unable to work.
- If you live on campus, you should still complete your weekly monitoring appointment.
- Follow CDC guidelines for quarantining with a roommate by maintaining at least 6 feet distance, avoid touching your face, and regularly wash your hands and disinfect common surfaces daily.
- Have basic supplies like cleaning/disinfecting products and hand sanitizer nearby.
- Avoid sharing personal items with others.
- Do not go to public areas.
- Avoid using public transportation, rideshares, or taxis.
If you need medical attention or have a medical appointment, call ahead to let them know you are currently under quarantine for COVID-19. If you may have been exposed to COVID-19, wait at least five days before getting a test so that there is adequate time for the virus to be detected by the test. Even if you test negative for COVID-19 or feel healthy, you should quarantine since symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 or another illness while under quarantine, contact a medical provider to discuss treatment, testing options and further steps. You will be required to isolate if you have COVID-19.