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Isolation and Precautions

Isolation and Precautions for Individuals with COVID-19 Update

Recently, the CDC updated quarantine and isolation recommendations. Below is the new guidance last updated Aug, 11, 2022.

When to Isolate

If you Test Negative

You can end your isolation

If you Test Positive

Follow the full isolation recommendations

If you had no symptoms
  • Day 0 is the day you were tested (not the day you received your positive test result)
  • Day 1 is the first full day following the day you were tested
  • If you develop symptoms within 10 days of when you were tested, the clock restarts at day 0 on the day of symptom onset
If you had symptoms
  • Day 0 of isolation is the day of symptom onset, regardless of when you tested positive
  • Day 1 is the first full day after the day your symptoms started

Isolation

If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home. You are likely most infectious during these first 5 days.

  • Wear a high-quality mask if you must be around others at home and in public.
  • Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask.
  • Do not travel.
  • Stay home and separate from others as much as possible.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Take steps to improve ventilation at home, if possible.
  • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (like trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • Learn more about what to do if you have COVID-19.

Ending Isolation

End isolation based on how serious your COVID-19 symptoms were.

If you had no symptoms

You may end isolation after day 5.

If you had symptoms
  • You may end isolation after day 5 if:
    • You are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication)
    • Your symptoms are improving
  • If you are unsure if your symptoms are moderate or severe or if you have a weakened immune system, talk to a healthcare provider for further guidance.
  • If you still have fever or your other symptoms have not improved, continue to isolate until they improve.
  • If you had moderate illness (if you experienced shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing), or severe illness (you were hospitalized) due to COVID-19, or you have a weakened immune system, you need to isolate through day 10.
  • If you had severe illness or have a weakened immune system, consult your doctor before ending isolation. Ending isolation without a viral test may not be an option for you.
  • If you are unsure if your symptoms are moderate or severe or if you have a weakened immune system, talk to a healthcare provider for further guidance.

 

Regardless of when you end isolation, avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 until at least day 11. Remember to wear a high-quality mask when indoors around others at home and in public and not go places where you are unable to wear a mask until you are able to discontinue masking (see below), including public transportation and travel settings.

Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.

Removing Your Mask

After you have ended isolation, when you are feeling better (no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms improving),

  • Wear your mask through day 10.
OR
  • If you have access to antigen tests, you should consider using them. With two sequential negative tests 48 hours apart, you may remove your mask sooner than day 10.

Note: If your antigen test results1 are positive, you may still be infectious. You should continue wearing a mask and wait at least 48 hours before taking another test. Continue taking antigen tests at least 48 hours apart until you have two sequential negative results. This may mean you need to continue wearing a mask and testing beyond day 10.

After you have ended isolation, if your COVID-19 symptoms recur or worsen, restart your isolation at day 0. Talk to a healthcare provider if you have questions about your symptoms or when to end isolation.

Student Isolation Procedures

Students who are sick and test positive will have the option of returning home to isolate as needed. If a student is not able to return home, please work through Housing and Residential Life for accommodations at 605-688-5148.