Updated June 29, 2022

Isolation

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.

Quarantine

Quarantine is a strategy used to prevent transmission of COVID-19 by keeping people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 apart from others. For directions on how to quarantine, read the CDC guidelines on quarantine

Who should quarantine?

If you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, you should quarantine if you are in one of the following groups:

You do NOT need to quarantine if you have received all CDC recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people. You should wear a face covering in all settings for 10 days. You may also wish to get tested on day 5, but it is not required.

How long should I quarantine?

  • If you develop symptoms, call student health service or MyHealth @ Work at 412-647-4949, get tested and isolate until you receive the results. If you test positive follow isolation guidance.
  • If you do not develop symptoms, quarantine for 5 days after your last contact with a person with COVID-19 and wear a face covering in all settings for an additional 5 days.  The date of exposure is considered day 0. You may also wish to get tested on day 5, but it is not required.

Where should I quarantine?

Most students living on campus will quarantine within their residence hall room or suite. In some cases, students may quarantine elsewhere if quarantining in their residence hall is not advised. Students living off campus will typically quarantine in their off-campus housing. Students may also choose to quarantine in their permanent residence. Faculty and staff should quarantine in their permanent residence.

If you have more questions about quarantine and isolation, please contact the COVID-19 Medical Response Office at cmro@pitt.edu