Skip to main content

Isolation and Quarantine

To limit the spread of COVID-19, people infected by the novel coronavirus or thought to be exposed to infection by the virus are instructed to avoid contact with other people until they are no longer in danger of infecting others.

  • If you start experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, then you need to isolate and schedule a symptomatic test through IU.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you need to isolate for at least 10 days.
  • If you are exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, that means you are a close contact and you need to quarantine for 10 days from the time of your last exposure.

These steps are critical for controlling the spread of disease among our campus communities, which is how IU can continue to offer in-person education as safely as possible. That's why it's so important that you answer phone calls from IU contact tracers and follow their instructions.

Identified as a close contact?

  1. Quarantine: Stay home and avoid all contact with others for 10 days after your last exposure.
  2. Answer the call: Cooperate with IU contact tracers to help stop the spread of the virus.
  3. Monitor your health: Participate in daily COVID-19 symptom checks.

No symptoms?

  1. Stay in quarantine for 10 days from the time of your last exposure. You cannot test out of quarantine.
  2. You will receive a text message confirming that you can end your quarantine. You must participate in daily symptom monitoring to receive this message and get official clearance.

Symptoms?

  1. Fill out IU's COVID-19 symptom checker to let us know what symptoms you're experiencing. If your symptoms indicate you should be tested, you'll receive an email to your IU email address with instructions for scheduling a symptomatic test.
  2. If you test negative for COVID-19, remain in quarantine for the full 10 days. You cannot test out of quarantine. You will receive a text message confirming that you can end your quarantine. You must participate in daily symptom monitoring to receive this message and get official clearance.
  3. If you test positive for COVID-19, enter the isolation protocol below. If your test was done outside of IU, you must self-report your positive test result.

Tested positive for COVID-19?

  1. Isolate: Stay home and avoid all contact with others for at least 10 days.
  2. Answer the call: Cooperate with IU contact tracers and share your close contacts to help stop the spread of the virus.
  3. Monitor your health: Participate in daily COVID-19 symptom checks text messages. You must participate in daily symptom monitoring to get official clearance to end your isolation.

How to isolate or quarantine

The ideal place to isolate or quarantine is somewhere that you have your own bedroom and bathroom—with no common areas that you share with others.

If you live with other people, stay in your bedroom and try to have food brought to your door so you can eat it in your room. If you must share a bathroom, you and those you share it with should make sure to thoroughly clean bathroom facilities after every use—especially high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, toilet handles/levers and faucets. The same strict cleaning protocol should be applied to any additional rooms that you have to share with others.

If you can't avoid being in the same room as someone else, always wear a face mask and maintain 6 feet of distance away from others.

Isolation protocol

Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 must stay home and isolate themselves from others for at least 10 days from symptom onset (if symptomatic) or from the time of their positive test (if asymptomatic). Do not leave your home for any reason (errands, carry out food, etc.), including coming to campus for class or work.

Answer phone calls, emails and text messages from IU contact tracers and follow their instructions to help stop the spread of the virus.

  • If you experience severe symptoms, seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • If you experience mild or moderate symptoms, you must remain in isolation until you have had no fever for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) AND your other symptoms have improved AND it has been 10 days from the time that your symptoms started.
  • If you never experience any symptoms, you can generally end your isolation 10 days after the time of your positive test.

Throughout your isolation, you must participate in daily symptom monitoring via text messages. If you develop symptoms or your symptoms worsen, we will contact you to check on how you're feeling and give you medical advice. Participating in daily symptom monitoring is important because it's the only way you will receive official confirmation to end your isolation.

Quarantine protocol

Those identified as close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 must stay home and quarantine for 10 days from the time of their last exposure. Close contacts are at high risk of testing positive themselves and, therefore, infecting others. That's why it's important that you stay away from other people—even those in quarantine—so you don't spread the virus. Do not come to campus for any reason, including class or work.

Answer phone calls, emails and text messages from IU contact tracers and follow their instructions to help stop the spread of the virus.

  • If you never develop symptoms, you can generally end your quarantine 10 days after your last exposure.
  • If you do experience symptoms of COVID-19, you should start with IU's COVID-19 symptom checker to let us know what symptoms you're experiencing. If your symptoms indicate you should be tested, you'll receive an email to your IU email address with instructions for scheduling a symptomatic test.
  • If you test negative for COVID-19, you CANNOT end your quarantine early.

Throughout your quarantine, you must participate in daily symptom monitoring via text message. Participating in daily symptom monitoring is important because it's the only way you will receive official confirmation to end your quarantine.

If you think you're sick

You should avoid other people and get a virtual screening for COVID-19 if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Use the IU Health Virtual Screening Clinic to talk to a health care professional about how you're feeling. They will let you know what to do next and refer you to testing, if needed.

If you're experiencing severe symptoms, such as trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, the inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face, seek emergency medical care immediately.