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Isolation and quarantine

To limit the spread of COVID-19, people infected by the novel 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, then you need to isolate until you can get a virtual screening for COVID-19 through the IU Health Virtual Screening Clinic. An IU Health professional will let you know what to do next and refer you to testing, if needed. If your symptoms are severe, seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • 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, that means you are a close contact and you need to quarantine for 14 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?

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 IU Health Twistle text messages to share daily reports about your symptoms. If you develop symptoms or your symptoms worsen, an IU Health nurse will contact you to check on how you're feeling and give you medical advice. Participating in Twistle is important because it's the only way you will receive official confirmation from IU Health that you can end your isolation.

If you're experiencing mild or moderate symptoms and need medical advice, you can also initiate your own virtual medical checks via IU Health Virtual Visits to talk about any questions or concerns you may have. Again, if your symptoms are severe, you should seek emergency medical care immediately.

Quarantine protocol

Those identified as close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 must stay home and quarantine for 14 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 14 days after your last exposure.
  • If you do experience symptoms of COVID-19, you should get a virtual screening for COVID-19 through the IU Health Virtual Screening Clinic. An IU Health professional will refer you to testing, if needed. If you test positive, you will need to start the protocol for isolation.
  • If you test negative for COVID-19, you CANNOT end your quarantine early.

Throughout your quarantine, you must participate in IU Health Twistle text messages to share daily reports about how you're feeling with health care professionals. Participating in Twistle is important because it's the only way you will receive official confirmation from IU Health that you can end your quarantine.

Access resources and support

You can find campus-specific information about isolation and quarantine in the following guides, including resources and support for students in quarantine or isolation.

IU Bloomington on-campus quarantine and isolation guide

Learn how IU Bloomington will support students in on-campus quarantine or isolation.

See the IUB on-campus guide

IU Bloomington off-campus quarantine and isolation guide

Learn how IU Bloomington will support students in off-campus quarantine or isolation.

See the IUB off-campus guide

IUPUI on-campus quarantine and isolation guide

Learn how IUPUI will support students in on-campus quarantine or isolation.

See the IUPUI on-campus guide

IUPUI off-campus quarantine and isolation guide

Learn how IUPUI will support students in off-campus quarantine or isolation.

See the IUPUI off-campus guide

IU South Bend on-campus quarantine and isolation guide

Learn how IU South Bend will support students in on-campus quarantine or isolation.

See the on-campus guide

IU South Bend off-campus quarantine and isolation guide

Learn how IU South Bend will support students in off-campus quarantine or isolation.

See the off-campus guide

IU Southeast on-campus quarantine and isolation guide

Learn how IU Southeast will support students in on-campus quarantine or isolation.

See the IU Southeast on-campus guide

IU Southeast off-campus quarantine and isolation guide

Learn how IU Southeast will support students in off-campus quarantine or isolation.

See the IU Southeast off-campus guide

IU East quarantine and isolation guide

Learn how IU East will support students in quarantine or isolation.

See the IU East guide

IU Kokomo quarantine and isolation guide

Learn how IU Kokomo will support students in quarantine or isolation.

See the IU Kokomo guide

IU Northwest quarantine and isolation guide

Learn how IU Northwest will support students in quarantine or isolation.

See the IU Northwest guide

IUPUC quarantine and isolation guide

Learn how IUPUC will support students in quarantine or isolation.

See the IUPUC guide

IUFW quarantine and isolation guide

Learn how IUFW will support students in quarantine or isolation.

See the IUFW guide

If you think you're sick

You should avoid other people and get a virtual screening for COVID-19 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

Use the IU Health Virtual Screening Clinic to talk to a health care professional about how you're feeling. They will let you know what to do next and refer you to testing, if needed.

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.