Updated August 16, 2022


Isolation is used to separate people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from those without COVID-19. For directions on how to isolate, read the CDC guidelines on isolation

Who should isolate?

  • People who have a positive test for COVID-19, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms. Learn how to report a positive COVID-19 case to the University. 
  • People with symptoms of COVID-19, including people who are awaiting test results or have not been tested. People with symptoms should isolate even if they do not know if they have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.

How long should I isolate?

  • The CDC recommends a minimum 10-day isolation for individuals with severe COVID-19 illness or those with a weakened immune system.
  • Isolate at home for 5 FULL days (120 hours) from first day of symptoms or date of test if asymptomatic. Day 0 is your first day of symptoms or the date you took the COVID-19 test. 
  • If you were asymptomatic or your symptoms are resolving, you may leave isolation after 5 days but must continue to wear a face covering in all settings for an additional 5 days.
  • If your symptoms are not resolving, wait until you are fever-free for 24 hours and other symptoms are improving before ending isolation. 
  • If you DO repeat an antigen test at day 5 and it is positive, you should extend your isolation period to total a full 10 days of isolation.
  • If you are prescribed Paxlovid and become symptomatic again after completing the medication, you should re-start a 5-day isolation and continue masking everywhere for 10 days. See the recommendations for the Public in this CDC health advisory, issued May 24, 2022.
  • Please consult the CDC website for details about ending isolation for your specific circumstances

Where should I isolate?

Students should follow guidance from contact tracers or Student Health Services on where to isolate. Faculty and staff should consult with their physician or health care practitioner regarding where to isolate.

Precautions After COVID-19 Exposure

If you were exposed to COVID-19, you should wear a high-quality mask for a full ten days after your exposure, monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and take a test five full days after your last exposure. You can develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after exposure, so you must wear a high-quality mask for that entire period, even if you test negative on day five. Please consult the CDC website for additional details about what to do if you were exposed to COVID-19.