Isolation and Quarantine

Spring 2022

By getting a booster, people can reduce the chance they will have to quarantine if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19. Under new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, students will not be required to quarantine after a COVID-19 exposure if they are asymptomatic and have completed all vaccinations for which they are eligible (including the booster, if eligible). 

Given that broad access to vaccines is available, on-campus quarantine and isolation housing will be limited this year and cannot be guaranteed at any time. All students should have individual plans for isolation and quarantine housing in the event they are exposed or have a positive COVID-19 test.

In addition to the detailed guidance below, you can follow this simple tool to understand what your next steps should be if you have been exposed to COVID-19 or tested positive. The tool covers common scenarios for students, but individual circumstances may vary.

COVID-19 Student Wayfinder

 

What to do if you test positive for COVID-19

If you are tested outside of Ohio State and test positive, notify the Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team (CICTT) by uploading your result to go.osu.edu/selfreporttest

If you are tested at an Ohio State site (either Student Health Services or a Wexner Medical Center swab station), you will be notified by secure message about the positive result and will be provided initial guidance for the management of your illness.

Guidance for people who test positive for COVID-19:

  • Isolate at home for at least five days (from the onset of COVID-19 symptoms or from the date of test for asymptomatic positive individuals).
  • You can leave your house after five days if you have no fever for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and no other symptoms (or your symptoms are generally resolving). As instructed, residential students will be required to complete an antigen test on day 5 in order to return to their residence hall.
  • Continue to wear a well-fitted mask for five additional days when in public or when indoors in close proximity to others (within six feet, especially indoors). If you share a living space with others, you must remain masked at all times. This masking requirement is required to exit physical isolation after day 5.
  • If you are immunocompromised, please consult with your health care provider because your time in isolation may be longer.

More information about positive test results is available here: https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/features/coronavirus/patient-care/covid-19-testing/positive-test

Students

  • If you test positive via Student Health Services (SHS), you will be notified by secure message. A health care professional will connect with you to provide guidance.
    • If you are tested at another Ohio State site and test positive, SHS will be directly notified of the result and the actions above will begin.
    • If you are tested outside of Ohio State and test positive, notify the Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team by uploading your result to go.osu.edu/selfreporttest
      • Additionally, please upload your test results via My BuckMD under Health Records – COVID-19 Documents.
  • Follow isolation protocols (listed below).
  • You should notify faculty members/instructors/supervisors as soon as you can if you are ill with COVID-19 or having symptoms, or are otherwise unable to attend in-person classes/work to arrange for accommodations and plans for making up work. Once you report your results to the CICTT at go.osu.edu/selfreporttest, you will receive an SLDS remote learning accommodation letter.
    • You are not required to tell any faculty members/instructors that you have COVID-19 if you have tested positive, unless they are your supervisor.
  • Upon a positive test result of a student, the CICTT will notify the student support team. A team member will contact you to offer additional resources (support connecting with instructors, mental health resources, isolation housing information, etc.).
  • The CICTT will collaborate with your local health department to share any pertinent contact tracing information for those outside the university community.
  • If you have a Primary Care Provider (PCP), that provider will have the primary role in advising you on your medical condition. If you do not have a PCP, Student Health Services will have the primary role in advising you on your medical condition.
  • Employees (faculty and staff) of the university who learn of a possible or positive COVID-19 test result for a student are not authorized to share the student's health information. This is a violation of their privacy, and this information is protected by HIPAA and other laws. Please work with SHS and the CICTT to provide the appropriate follow up.

Employees (faculty and staff)

  • Employees should ensure they are following unit call off procedures.
  • If you are tested outside of Ohio State and test positive, you must notify the Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team by uploading your result to go.osu.edu/selfreporttest
    • If you are tested at an Ohio State site, the Ohio State contact tracing team and Columbus Public Health will be notified of the positive result.
  • Follow isolation protocols (listed below).
  • If you learn of a COVID-19 positive or possible COVID-19 positive employee in your unit, do not share the employee's health information. This is a violation of their privacy, and this information is protected by HIPAA and other laws. Please work with EHS and the CICTT to provide the appropriate follow up.

 

Isolation

Isolation separates and restricts the movement of those with a contagious disease from those who are not sick.

Residential Students

Actions to TakeOptions for Residential Students

Isolate for a minimum of 5 days, followed by 5 additional days of strict masking

 

Reach out to your instructors; send Student Life Disability Services statement of support to your instructors if needed

In your residence hall room if you live in a single room with an in-room bathroom

On-campus university isolation space

At home

Another off-campus location facilitated by University Housing

Another off-campus location you identify
  • Students are required to rapid antigen test on the day 5.
    • If antigen test results from the day 5 test are negative and symptoms are resolving, the student should:
      1. Upload their results to go.osu.edu/selfreporttest and
      2. Complete a wellness check to assess when they may return to your residence hall.
      3. Students must complete both the wellness check and report their results at the same time on the morning of day 5 so they can receive confirmation from the contact tracing team to return to their room on day 6.
    • If antigen test results are positive on day 5, the student will need to complete the full 10-day isolation period.  
    • Regardless of antigen test results, the student may need to stay in isolation after day 6 if symptoms worsen.
  • To return to their room, classes and other in-person activities, students must have a release from isolation letter.
  • Upon leaving confined isolation, the student is required to strictly wear a well-fitting mask in every environment, including at home in a shared living space, for an additional 5 days. For activities like brushing teeth, showering or eating, masks should be replaced as soon as possible.

Non-residential Students

  • Students who test positive will be ordered to isolate for five days.
  • Students should complete the wellness check daily.
  • If symptoms are resolving and they have completed the wellness check daily, students will receive a release from isolation letter to return to in-person activities on day 6.
  • Upon leaving physical isolation, the student will be required to strictly wear a well-fitting mask in every environment, including at home in a shared living space, for an additional 5 days. For activities like brushing teeth, showering or eating, masks should be replaced as soon as possible.

Employees

  • Employees who test positive will be ordered to isolate for five days.
  • Employees should complete the wellness check daily.
  • If symptoms are resolving and they have completed the wellness check daily, employees will receive a release from isolation letter to return to work and in-person activities on day 6.
  • If symptoms are worsening at day 5, employees should continue to isolate.
  • Upon leaving physical isolation, the employee will be required to strictly wear a well-fitting mask in every environment, including at home in a shared living space, for an additional 5 days. For activities like brushing teeth, showering or eating, masks should be replaced as soon as possible.

 

What to do if you have been exposed to COVID-19

Students

  • Contact your local primary care provider (PCP) for a health assessment and direction.
  • If you do not have a local PCP, please schedule a telehealth appointment with Ohio State Student Health Services (SHS) with via My BuckMD and select COVID Symptoms as appointment reason.

Employees (faculty and staff)

  • Contact your primary care provider (PCP) for health assessment and direction.
  • If you do not have a PCP, contact The Ohio State University COVID Call Center at 614-293-4000 to assess the need for testing and to arrange a COVID-19 test if indicated.
  • If your PCP advises that you should have a COVID-19 test, contact The Ohio State University COVID Call Center at 614-293-4000 to arrange a COVID-19 test.

If you are fully vaccinated and have been exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive, you may not need to quarantine at this time. If you have received all COVID-19 vaccines you are eligible for, including a booster dose, and you do not have symptoms you will not be required to quarantine.   

 

Guidance

People who have a significant COVID-19 exposure (within six feet for 15 minutes or more) should take these actions, based on their vaccination status:

Vaccination StatusQuarantineMaskingTest

One or more of these must apply:

Vaccinated and boosted

Completed series of mRNA vaccines within past 5 months*

Completed J&J vaccination in past 2 months

Documented infection within past 90 days

No, unless you have symptoms

10 Days

Strictly wear a well-fitting mask in every environment, including at home in a shared living space.

On the day of notification, or earliest possible appointment and again 7 days later

All others

Minimum 5 days

Do not go to class, work or in-person activities during this period. 

10 Days

Strictly wear a well-fitting mask in every environment, including at home in a shared living space.

On the day of notification, or earliest possible appointment and again 7 days later

*Completed series may vary by vaccine type, of age of individual and immunocompetency of individuals. See CDC guidance for additional information.  

Close Contacts and Quarantine 

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of those who have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Given the current positive caseload, Ohio State is prioritizing the containment of positive cases.

Residential Students

  • Automatic close contact notifications will be emailed to the roommates of students in university housing who test positive.
  • Residential students who are automatically notified as a close contact of a positive roommate should facilitate their own quarantine according to their vaccination status. See guidance table.
  • Residential students who receive an automatic close contact notice and are not fully vaccinated to their personal eligibility may be able to quarantine in their current room and must mask at all times (they are welcome to go home or to quarantine in another off-campus location).
  • If asymptomatic, students should schedule a test at Jesse Owens North via MyChart as soon as possible.
  • To allow for daily access to fresh air, students in quarantine will be able to leave their room fully masked to pick up food from a dining facility near their residence hall.
  • Students should complete the wellness check daily.
  • If symptom-free and they have completed the wellness check daily, students will receive a release from quarantine letter to return to in-person activities.
  • Upon leaving quarantine, the student will be required to strictly wear a well-fitting mask in every environment, including at home in a shared living space, for an additional 5 days. For activities like brushing teeth, showering or eating, masks should be replaced as soon as possible.
  • Students should resume regular weekly required testing.

Non-residential Students

  • Off-campus students who learn they are a close contact of a positive case should facilitate their own quarantine according to their vaccination status. See guidance table.
  • If asymptomatic, students should schedule a test at Jesse Owens North via MyChart as soon as possible.
  • Students should complete the wellness check daily.
  • If symptoms are resolving and they have completed the wellness check daily, students will receive a release from quarantine letter to return to in-person activities.
  • Upon leaving quarantine, the student will be required to strictly wear a well-fitting mask in every environment, including at home in a shared living space, for an additional 5 days. For activities like brushing teeth, showering or eating, masks should be replaced as soon as possible.
  • If required to test regularly, students should resume weekly testing as soon as possible.

Employees

  • Employees who learn they are a close contact of a positive case, should facilitate their own quarantine according to their vaccination status. See guidance table.
  • If asymptomatic, employees should schedule a test at Jesse Owens North via MyChart as soon as possible.
  • Employees should complete the wellness check daily.
  • If symptoms are resolving and they have completed the wellness check daily, employees will receive a release from quarantine letter to return to work and in-person activities.
  • Upon leaving quarantine, the employee will be required to strictly wear a well-fitting mask in every environment, including at home in a shared living space, for an additional 5 days. For activities like brushing teeth, showering or eating, masks should be replaced as soon as possible.
  • If required to test regularly, employees should resume weekly testing as soon as possible.

Faculty and staff who receive a quarantine notice from the university need to wait for confirmation from the contact tracing team to return to work.

Faculty and staff working at the Wexner Medical Center, who have completed their quarantine period do not need to wait for confirmation from the contact tracing team to return to work but may need to follow guidelines specific to the medical center.

 

Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team

The university’s Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team (CICTT) is tracking cases associated with the university and managing quarantine and isolation orders for the Ohio State community

If you tested positive for COVID-19 through an antigen test or at a non-university site, please upload your results to the university’s CICTT at go.osu.edu/selfreporttest.

Accountability measures

Accountability measures are in place for those who choose not to abide by required health and safety guidelines. These accountability measures may range from additional training and informal coaching to formal disciplinary action based on existing structures for students, faculty and staff.

Frequently asked questions

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How long do isolation and quarantine last? And when does the clock start?

Those who test positive for COVID-19, should isolate at home for at least five days (from the onset of COVID-19 symptoms or from the date of test for asymptomatic positive individuals). After five days if you have no fever for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and no other symptoms (or your symptoms are generally resolving). As instructed, residential students will be required to complete an antigen test on day 5 in order to return to their residence hall.Continue to wear a well-fitted mask for five additional days when in public or when indoors in close proximity to others (within six feet). If you share a living space with others, you must remain masked at all times. This masking requirement is required to exit physical isolation after day 5.People who have a significant COVID-19 exposure (within six feet for 15 minutes or more) should take these actions, based on their vaccination status:

Vaccination StatusQuarantineMaskingTest

One or more of these must apply:

  • Vaccinated and boosted
  • Completed 2 mRNA vaccines within past 6 months
  • Completed J&J vaccination in past 2 months
  • Documented infection within past 90 days
No, unless you have symptoms

10 Days

 

Strictly wear a well-fitting mask in every environment, including at home in a shared living space.

On the day of notification, or earliest possible appointment and again 7 days later

All others

Minimum 5 days

10 Days

 

Strictly wear a well-fitting mask in every environment, including at home in a shared living space.

On the day of notification, or earliest possible appointment and again 7 days later

The clock starts the day after the test. 

I received a positive test result but have not been relocated to isolated housing yet. What’s happening?

Depending on when your test results come in — they may arrive around the clock — you might have to isolate for a time in your current residence before receiving further direction. During this time, you must take safety measures including wearing a mask properly and making sure anybody who lives with you is masked and maintaining physical distancing of at least 6 feet. If you have to use a shared bathroom or leave the room for food and water during this waiting period, wear a mask, stay physically distant from others and return immediately to your room.

I tested positive, but later tested negative. Why do I have to stay in isolation?

For the safety of the Buckeye community, and the broader community, we are following scientific recommendations and erring on the side of caution. By requiring all people with a positive COVID-19 test to stay in isolation, this increases the chances we will limit infections and be able to stay on campus. We are not currently recommending re-testing for anyone who has had a positive test.

My roommate has tested positive for COVID-19 but has not yet been relocated to isolation housing. What should I do? What should I expect?

Remain in your residence hall room as much as possible and avoid unnecessary contact with others. Wear a mask and maintain at least 6 feet of distance from your roommate and others. The university is making every effort to assist with next steps quickly. If you have to use a shared bathroom or leave the room for food and water during this waiting period, wear a mask, stay physically distant from others and return immediately to your room. Students who want to self-report exposure to someone with COVID-19, please contact the Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team at 614-688-CASE or ContactTracing@osu.edu.

What are my responsibilities as a supervisor if an employee notifies me of possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection?

  • Instruct the employee to not come to work or campus except to receive health care and to follow the steps outlined in the appropriate scenario described on the Contact Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine page.
  • Make arrangements for the employee to telework or for the employee’s duties to be covered as needed.
  • Ensure the employee is aware of their leave options and has submitted the appropriate leave request.
  • Do not notify other team members or others in your college or unit. Maintain the employee’s medical privacy. Assessing possible exposures and notifying those who are at potential risk is the responsibility of the public health contact tracing team.

What happens if I have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19?

People who have a significant COVID-19 exposure (within six feet for 15 minutes or more) should take these actions, based on their vaccination status:

Vaccination StatusQuarantineMaskingTest

Vaccinated and boosted

Completed 2 mRNA vaccines within past 6 months

Completed J&J vaccination in past 2 months

No, unless you have symptoms10 DaysRecommended at Day 5

Completed mRNA vaccine series more than 6 months ago and unboosted

Completed J&J vaccine more than 2 months ago and unboosted

Unvaccinated

Minimum 5 days10 DaysRecommended at Day 5

If you are fully vaccinated and have been exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive, you may not need to quarantine at this time. The Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team will be in touch to determine if you need to quarantine. If you have received all COVID-19 vaccines you are eligible for, including a booster dose, and you do not have symptoms you will not be required to quarantine.   

Students can contact their local primary care provider (PCP) or the Ohio State Student Health Services (SHS) with via My BuckMD and select COVID Symptoms as appointment reason.

Employees should contact their primary care provider (PCP) or The Ohio State University COVID Call Center at 614-293-4000 to assess the need for testing and to arrange a COVID-19 test if indicated.

What information will the contact tracing team be able to access?

Contact tracers are permitted to access information only for use in the university’s pandemic response. The contact tracing team will use individuals’ general location information to contact individuals to schedule testing, learn whether others may have been infected and monitor the spread of COVID-19.  

Some examples of general location information include:

  • Student and instructor class roster, residence hall address and office address
  • System logs, like door swipes with an individual's BuckID and OSU Wireless access

 
The Responsible Use of Computing and Network Resources Policy explains the collection, use and sharing of data from information systems. Members of the university community consent to this policy when setting up their name.# and when they use Ohio State information systems, like OSU Wireless or university laptops or PCs.

Visit the web privacy statement to learn more or email privacy@osu.edu with questions about privacy at Ohio State.

What is considered an exposure to COVID-19?

An exposure is when you have come in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. Close contact exposure is contact for at least 15 minutes at a distance of less than 6 feet from a person with COVID-19. To count as close contact, the exposure must occur in the 48 hours prior to the other person developing COVID-19 symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19.

Types of contact NOT currently considered an “exposure” to an individual with COVID-19 include:

  • Standing in line to order coffee behind an individual with COVID-19 for three minutes
  • Having classes in the same building as someone who tests positive
  • Walking past a person with COVID-19 in the hallway of your residence hall or on the Oval

 

What kind of cleaning will take place if someone gets COVID-19?

The university’s approach to keeping shared spaces clean during the pandemic is based on scientific guidance to reduce the risks of exposure. Those measures will typically be adequate when someone tests positive. For example, classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected nightly. In some cases, such as those where an infected individual has an office with a door, it will make the most sense not to enter the space and suspend cleaning for an appropriate amount of time.

In residence halls where students share a room, a student who tests positive and their close contacts (as designated by contact tracing) are required to complete their isolation process in a designated residence hall or away from campus.    

Who should I tell if I learn that someone has contracted COVID-19?

  • If you have or suspect you have COVID-19 and are a member of the faculty or staff, you should tell your supervisor and follow appropriate protocol.
  • If you are a supervisor and an employee reports an infection to you, you should contact your Human Resources business partner. Do not notify any other employees, maintaining the individual’s medical privacy.
  • If you have or suspect you have COVID-19 and are a student, you should immediately contact Student Health Services at sl-covid19.shs@osu.edu.
  • Students are not required to report the specific reason for their illness, including COVID-19 infection, to their instructors.
  • Faculty, staff and students who are made aware of or suspect that someone else has COVID-19 should not share that information with others, with the exception of supervisors reporting to Human Resources.
  • If you have or suspect you have COVID-19 and are a member of the faculty or staff, you should tell your supervisor and follow appropriate protocol.
  • If you are a supervisor and an employee reports an infection to you, you should contact your Human Resources business partner. Do not notify any other employees, maintaining the individual’s medical privacy.
  • If you have or suspect you have COVID-19 and are a student, you should immediately contact Student Health Services at sl-covid19.shs@osu.edu.
  • Students are not required to report the specific reason for their illness, including COVID-19 infection, to their instructors.
  • Faculty, staff and students who are made aware of or suspect that someone else has COVID-19 should not share that information with others, with the exception of supervisors reporting to Human Resources.

Will I be informed if my co-worker gets sick?

Not necessarily. Co-workers will be notified only if they have been identified as someone at risk based on scientific standards for determining potential exposure. Close, prolonged contact without proper public health precautions (physical distancing, wearing of face masks) increases the risk of infection. Working in the same building with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive does not, in and of itself, put an individual at risk.


Please reference this website for the most up-to-date guidelines. The university’s COVID-19 Transition Task Force’s Safe Campus and Scientific Advisory Subgroup will continue monitoring changing conditions and consult with local and state health authorities. Recommendations and requirements will be refined as needed.