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Isolation and Quarantine

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is quarantine?

Quarantine is for those individuals who are believed to have potentially been exposed to COVID-19, but have not tested positive. (For more information on close contacts, please see our FAQ on contact tracing.) 

Quarantine means staying in your own living space for the duration of a 14-day period and monitoring yourself for any potential signs of infection. Quarantining means that you can’t go out—not to work, school, or public places. While it is vital to keep in touch with friends, significant others, and family via video calls, phone calls, emails, and/or text messages, you should not spend any time with them during the 14 days. 

What is isolation?

Isolation is for those individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. Isolation means staying in your own living space for the designated period of time, which is generally 10 days at a minimum. During isolation, you should avoid all others and you cannot go out - not to work, school, or public places. While it is vital to keep in touch with friends, significant others, and family via video calls, phone calls, emails, and/or text messages, you should not spend any time with them while you are in isolation. 

Why are the isolation and quarantine times different? Answer: The purpose of isolation and quarantine is to reduce your exposure to others while you are or may be contagious. Generally, the contagion period is approximately fourteen days. Those who have already been confirmed to have the virus are further into their contagious period than those who have only been exposed to COVID-19. Therefore, those who have been exposed need to be quarantined for a longer period of time. 

For Residential Students

When will I need to isolate or quarantine?

 You will need to isolate in the event of a positive COVID test. You will need to quarantine in the event you are identified as a close contact.

Where will I isolate/quarantine?

 You will have the option of going home to isolate/quarantine or going to our isolation/quarantine space in Loyola Hall.  

What happens if I isolate/quarantine on campus?

If you choose to isolate/quarantine on campus, you will be moved to a single room/bathroom in Loyola. Your room will come with a bed, desk, closet, microfridge, sheets, and cleaning supplies. Every day, you will be provided with a meal box that will include the next three meals, as well as a quarantine care box with dry goods, snacks, and waters. You can store future meals in your microfridge. While you are in isolation/quarantine, the College or a designated third party partner will regularly check in on you via phone or email. You will be invited to participate in virtual support groups and will be able to access virtual services on campus. If you are well, you are expected to participate in classes while in isolation/quarantine.  

What do I need to bring with me to the isolation/quarantine space in Loyola? 

  • Cell phone and computer chargers and power cords.
  • Any textbooks or other academic needs.
  • Over the counter and prescription medication to last 14 days.
  • Enough clothing to last 14 days. Students cannot wash laundry during IQ.

What if I need something during isolation/quarantine?

You will be provided with a list of contacts you may use if you need anything, including public safety, facilities, and student support.

When can I leave isolation/quarantine?

You may not leave isolation and quarantine until cleared to do so by authorized College personnel or a designated third party partner. 

If I tested positive, will you repeat the test?

No, according to the MA Department of Public Health, any positive test requires the appropriate isolation period, and repeat testing is not recommended. The PCR testing we are utilizing has a very low risk of a false positive result.

If I am in quarantine, can a negative test result “release” me from quarantine?

No, if you are a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, you must quarantine for 14 days. A negative test result does not mean you can discontinue quarantine, as there is a potential to develop COVID-19 at any time within the 14 days. 

For Off-Campus Students Approved to Come onto Campus

When will I need to isolate or quarantine?

You will need to isolate in the event of a positive COVID test. You will need to quarantine in the event you are identified as a close contact.

Where will I isolate/quarantine?

You will be asked to isolate at home or in your off-campus apartment. 

How do I isolate/quarantine in my off-campus apartment?

Please see the CDC guidelines for information about isolation or quarantine

What happens if I inadvertently have contact with someone while I am in isolation/quarantine?

If you inadvertently have contact with someone while you are in isolation/quarantine, this person should undergo an evaluation to determine the level of potential exposure. Please ask them to contact our Isolation and Quarantine Coordinators at iqcoordinator@holycross.edu. 

When can I leave isolation/quarantine?

You may not leave isolation and quarantine until cleared to do so by authorized College personnel or a designated third party partner. 

If I tested positive, will you repeat the test?

No, according to the MA Department of Public Health, any positive test requires the appropriate isolation period, and repeat testing is not recommended. The PCR testing we are utilizing has a very low risk of a false positive result.

If I am in quarantine, can a negative test result “release” me from quarantine?

No, if you are a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, you must quarantine for 14 days. A negative test result does not mean you can discontinue quarantine, as there is a potential to develop COVID-19 at any time within the 14 days. 

For Employees

When will I need to isolate or quarantine?

You will need to isolate in the event of a positive COVID test. You will need to quarantine in the event you are identified as a close contact.

Where will I isolate/quarantine?

You will isolate/quarantine at your residence of choice, off-campus. 

How do I isolate/quarantine?

Please see the CDC guidelines for information about isolation or quarantine

What happens if I inadvertently have contact with someone while I am in isolation/quarantine?

If you inadvertently have contact with someone while you are in isolation/quarantine, this person should undergo an evaluation to determine the level of potential exposure. Please ask them to contact our Isolation and Quarantine Coordinators at iqcoordinator@holycross.edu. 

When can I leave isolation/quarantine?

Follow your physician’s advice.

If I tested positive, will you repeat the test?

No, according to the MA Department of Public Health, any positive test requires the appropriate isolation period, and repeat testing is not recommended. The PCR testing we are utilizing has a very low risk of a false positive result.

If I am in quarantine, can a negative test result “release” me from quarantine?

No, if you are a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, you must quarantine for 14 days. A negative test result does not mean you can discontinue quarantine, as there is a potential to develop COVID-19 at any time within the 14 days. 

When can I return to campus?

When an employee who has been diagnosed with, or exposed to, COVID-19 seeks to return to work, they should communicate as far in advance as possible with Human Resources about a return-to-work plan. As a general practice, Human Resources will require such employees to obtain return-to-work certifications or other appropriate documentation from their medical provider indicating that they are fully recovered and do not pose a risk of further transmission. If this proves impracticable or impossible, Human Resources may determine, based on available evidence and information, whether and when it is safe for the employee to return to work. Recovering employees may, in the College’s discretion, be permitted to return to work remotely, where remote working is an option, before they are permitted to return to campus, and additional documentation may be required before an employee can return to campus in these circumstances.