Quarantine is a 14-day period that those exposed to an infectious COVID patient must spend alone, away from others, to prevent the transmission of COVID should the person become infectious. This 14-day period is required because exposed individuals can become contagious up to 14 days after exposure and not realize it. A negative test for COVID-19 does not remove the necessity of quarantining.
Persons who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 need not be quarantined if they meet all of the following criteria:
- Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
- Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series
- Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure
Persons who do not meet all 3 of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Additionally, the CDC recommends that persons who have recovered from COVID-19 do not need to undergo repeat quarantine or repeat testing for SARS-CoV-2 in the case of another COVID-19 exposure if they meet all of the following criteria:
- Has recovered from laboratory-confirmed (PCR or antigen) SARS-CoV-2 infection and has already met criteria to end isolation
- Is within the first 3 months following the onset of symptoms of their initial confirmed infection, or within the first 3 months of their first positive viral test if they were asymptomatic during the initial infection
- Has remained asymptomatic since the new exposure
Options to Reduce Quarantine
If you have not had COVID-19 or have not been vaccinated for COVID-19, the recommended quarantine is a 14-day period; however, the CDC and MSDH offer two options to reduce this time.
You can schedule a PCR (not rapid) test on Day 6 of quarantine. This specific PCR (not rapid) test is not available on MC's campus. The TrustCare COVID-19 Testing Clinic in Clinton offers the PCR test results within 24 hours. TrustCare accepts cash or credit card only; the swab test is $125 for students. Student IDs are required. Insurance is not accepted at the Clinton location. Schedule an appointment at the TrustCare COVID-19 Testing Clinic in Clinton.
- If the PCR test is negative and you don't have any symptoms of COVID-19, you will be released from quarantine on Day 7. You may return to your assigned room and begin attending face-to-face classes. You must continue to quarantine by behavior* until Day 14 of your full quarantine period. Quarantine by behavior is adhering strictly to mask use and physical distancing through quarantine Day 14.
- Or you may be released from quarantine on Day 10 after a negative antigen test from MC's free on-campus testing site.
- If the antigen test is negative and you don't have any symptoms of COVID-19, you will be released from quarantine on Day 10. You may return to your assigned room and begin attending face-to-face classes. You must continue to quarantine by behavior* until Day 14 of your full quarantine period. Quarantine by behavior is adhering strictly to mask use and physical distancing through quarantine Day 14.
*All quarantine by behavior seeks to minimize the potential for asymptomatic individuals to transmit COVID-19 since carriers can pass on the disease for up to 14 days. Early quarantine options still require symptom monitoring, mask use, and 6' distancing while allowing more mobility to return to class/work. All quarantine options prohibit 1:1 labs, clinical placements, team sports, and close contact of any kind until 14 "asymptomatic" days have been completed.
Isolation keeps someone who is infected with the virus away from others, even in their home.
- Any student who tests positive for COVID-19 must complete a 10-day isolation period.
- Residential students will have the choice to isolate off-campus or on-campus.
- A limited number of on-campus isolation spaces will be available for residential students who test positive.
All students in isolation will not be able to attend face-to-face classes or any university events and will need to avoid contact with others and stay in their single room or apartment. Most importantly, consider yourself contagious for the entire 10 days, even if you feel completely well. It is possible to carry and transmit the virus when you don’t have any symptoms of infection.
Through its contract tracing program and in conjunction with local health departments, the university will determine high-risk exposures during the 48 hours prior to a positive test and/or the onset of symptoms.
For more information about isolation measures, visit the CDC website.