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Isolation and Quarantine

To limit the spread of COVID-19, people infected by the 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, 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, you are a close contact.
    • Individuals who are fully vaccinated should wear a mask and get tested three to five days after exposure. They do not need to quarantine.
    • Anyone not fully vaccinated will 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: If you are not fully vaccinated, you will need to stay home and avoid all contact with others for 10 days after your last exposure. If you're fully vaccinated (all doses of a COVID-19 vaccine plus two weeks), you should wear a mask and get tested three to five days after exposure. You do not need to quarantine.
  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. If you're fully vaccinated, self-monitor for any symptoms, wear a mask, and get tested three to five days after exposure.
  2. If you're not fully vaccinated, stay in quarantine for 10 days from the time of your last exposure. You cannot test out of quarantine.
  3. 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. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms (regardless of vaccination status), should 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:
    1. If you are not fully vaccinated and a close contact, 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.
    2. If you are fully vaccinated, you may go back to your normal routine.
  3. If you test positive for COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status, you'll 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

Anyone fully vaccinated and identified as a close contact does not need to quarantine. You should, however, wear a mask and get tested three to five days after exposure.

Those who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and are 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 whether vaccinated or not, 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.

Keeping others safe while you're in quarantine or isolation

  • Keep 6 feet away from other people at all times.
  • Wear your mask at all times if you do have to be around other people. Any person you come in contact with in your household should wash their hands often and wear a mask if possible whenever they are in close contact with you. If this isn’t possible, limit your time with them to 5 minutes or less.
  • Do not have visitors in your home.
  • Avoid touching your face as much as possible
  • You will need to sleep alone in a separate room if possible.
  • If possible, use a separate bathroom.
  • You should use your own plate, bowl, and utensils – do not share food with anyone.
  • Avoid sharing other personal household items (combs, toothbrush, cups, sheets/blankets etc.). Wash your laundry separately with detergent; bleach can be used but is not needed.
  • Cover your mouth with tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw the tissue away.
  • Wash your hands frequently throughout the day with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Always wash your hands:
    • Before and after preparing food for yourself (do not prepare food for others).
    • Before and after eating.
    • After going to the bathroom.
    • After sneezing, blowing your nose, or touching your face.
  • Wipe down surfaces that you touch frequently with disposable cloths using bleach if possible or household cleaners. Your bathrooms should be cleaned every day using a household disinfectant. Wear gloves while cleaning if possible.
  • Your gloves, tissues, masks, and other trash should be put in a bag, tied closed, and put with other household trash.
  • Anyone you come in contact with (including anyone in your home) must watch themselves for fever, cough, and other symptoms of COVID-19.

Take care of yourself

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Find IU resources if you need help or someone to talk to.

Campus quarantine and isolation guides

If you think you're sick

You should avoid other people and use IU's symptom checker to get scheduled for a symptomatic COVID-19 test 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

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.