Quarantine and Isolation Resources
What is Quarantine/Isolation?
While isolation and quarantine are intended to limit the spread of disease, they have different meanings and different time requirements. Quarantine helps prevent people from spreading coronavirus before they know they are sick or if they are infected without feeling symptoms, while isolation is reserved for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are showing symptoms. For additional information on the difference between quarantine and isolation, visit the Penn State virus website.
This information is based on the most recent Penn State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
CDC guidance no longer calls for quarantine for individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19. Instead, individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 should begin wearing a well-fitting mask indoors immediately and take a COVID-19 test after five days. Individuals who test negative should continue to wear a mask indoors around others for 10 days. Those who test positive should enter isolation immediately.
If you experience COVID-19 symptoms or receive a positive COVID-19 test, you will be directed to isolate by a member of the contact tracing staff.
Residential students arrange to isolate at home or off campus, if neither is an option you will be directed to isolate in your residence. The University no longer has COVID-19 isolation space.
Once you test positive, immediately put on a high-quality, well-fitting mask and upload your positive result to firstname.lastname@example.org. Expect an email from the contact tracing team with detailed instructions on the University’s COVID-19 protocol.
- Students may leave isolation only to pick up food from the commons but must wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask.
- Students may utilize a food delivery service but must leave specific instructions for the driver.
- Students may leave isolation on day six if they are symptom-free or symptoms have improved, and they are fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of medication.
- Students must continue to mask through day 10.
- If COVID-19 symptoms persist or worsen, contact the student health center or primary care provider. For medical emergencies, dial 911.
Non-residential students should isolate themselves at home, ideally in a space where they can avoid contact with others in their household. The University will not offer isolation space on campus.
Off-campus students must isolate for a minimum of five days and may discontinue isolation on day six if they are symptom-free or symptoms have improved, and they are fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of medication. Students must continue to mask through day 10. If COVID-19 symptoms persist or worsen, contact the student health center or primary care provider. For a medical emergency, dial 911.
After isolation, all individuals should continue to wear a high-quality, well-fitting face mask while indoors, around others, until day 10 after their symptoms began or they tested positive for COVID-19.