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What is a high-risk exposure (close contact with an infected person)?

The current definition of exposure to COVID-19 remains 15 minutes of cumulative contact over a 24-hour period at < 6 feet. An infected person can spread COVID-19 up to 2 days before they have symptoms or 2 days prior to the positive test if they have no symptoms, therefore, contacts should be identified who were exposed up to 2 days prior to the onset or test date accordingly.

Quarantine Period

Unvaccinated

Students, faculty, and staff who are not fully vaccinated and are identified as close contacts to COVID-19, as outlined above, should be in quarantine for a full 14 days. There are additional options to the 14-day quarantine period from the school setting as follows:

  • 10-day option: Quarantine can end after 10 days if the individual has no symptoms during the entire 10-day period, or
  • 7- day plus test option: If the individual has no symptoms for 7 days and has a negative COVID-19 test (molecular or antigen) collected on day 5, 6, or 7 of the quarantine period, the quarantine can be discontinued after day 7.

Vaccinated

Fully vaccinated persons in close contact with an infected person do NOT have to quarantine unless they develop symptoms (fully vaccinated persons are recommended to receive COVID-19 testing 3-5 days after exposure to rule out infection).

Have had COVID-19

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered do not have to quarantine or get tested again as long as they do not develop new symptoms.

Source: MSDH

What to do in the event you test positive for COVID-19

MSDH recommends individuals who test positive for COVID-19 be excluded from the college setting and remain in isolation for a full 10 days from the positive test date, and are fever-free for 24 hours..

Asymptomatic individuals with a positive rapid COVID-19 test who have a negative molecular-based COVID-19 test within 48 hours of the rapid positive do not require further exclusion and may return to the college setting. This only applies to molecular-based tests as the confirmatory testing (i.e., PCR) and does not include antigen tests or antibody tests.

Source: MSDH