Isolation and Quarantine

Guidance for Students Isolating or Quarantining

We expect COVID-positive students who are able to do so to return home or find another safe place to isolate or recover in their rooms. This may include recovery with roommates who have not yet tested positive for COVID-19, with the assumption that these individuals already are close contacts who have been exposed. We expect students to make plans for safe isolation, including transportation needs, prior to returning to campus.
 

Talk with your roommates and family about a plan BEFORE the semester begins in case anything happens.  Having a COVID positive person in a living space can be a stressful situation for everyone involved. Encouraging open communication with each other can go a long way.  Some things you may want to cover are: Where will you be isolating/ quarantining?  How will you manage a shared bathroom? How will you ventilate your space? What about guests? What other concerns do you have? It’s important that you all agree and understand the plan, together. If you live on campus and are interested in revisiting your Roommate Agreement completed in the fall semester, contact your RA and they can help facilitate that conversation further.

 Students Needing to Isolate:

What is isolation?

  • Students must isolate if they have tested positive for COVID regardless of your vaccination status or your symptoms. Isolation means that you have COVID and are actively staying separated and/ or taking steps to reduce virus transmission to others in your living space. 
  • If you live within 250 miles of campus, you MUST isolate at home. Pack the belongings you will need for the next 7 - 10 days and head home as soon as possible.

How long do I have to isolate?

You must isolate for at least 5 full days starting from the date of your positive test.

Day 0 is the date of your positive test. You can leave isolation on day 6 if:

  • Your symptoms have significantly improved

  • You have a negative rapid test on day 6

If you are still having significant symptoms on day 6, remain in isolation until you are feeling better.

If your rapid test on day 6 is positive, you must remain in isolation and can repeat your test in 24 hours or later

Day 6 Rapid Testing for On Campus or Local Students:

  • Monday through Friday, 9 to 10 a.m. and 1 to 2 p.m., rapid testing for day 6 or later is administered in Health Services Respiratory Clinic (behind Loyola)

  • If your day 6 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, pick up a rapid test from Health Services Respiratory Clinic, during the hours listed above. Administer the test yourself on your day 6 in your room. Upload a picture of your negative test to this form.

Day 6 Rapid Testing for Hotel Students: The hotel will provide a negative test for you to do, and will collect the result and report it to Health Services

Day 6 Rapid Testing for Students at home: Please take an at-home rapid test on day 6, upload a picture of your negative test to this form before returning to campus.

How do I isolate myself in my living space?

  • Keep yourself in a separate space from others as much as possible. If you have a space to yourself where you can close a door, stay in there as much as possible. If you don’t have this ability, avoid having close contact with others in common living spaces and follow the guidance below.
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth at all times.  This includes being in the presence of roommates in your living space. Wear a high filtration mask (like an n95, Kn95, Kf94, or double surgical mask).  Use a mask that has the best seal around your face (no gaps), and feels the most comfortable so you can wear it for long periods of time without touching it, frequently. The CDC has additional guidance on how to check and get a better fit for your mask.
  • Keep your space ventilated with good airflow as much as possible. Improving ventilation (air flow) can help prevent virus particles from accumulating in the air in your living space. Open a window with a fan blowing air outside. Use a portable air purifier if you have one. The CDC has additional guidance on improving air flow in your space.
  • Avoid sharing personal items like eating utensils, cups, plates, towels, etc.
  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.

What if I start feeling sick?

  • You can treat most COVID symptoms with medicine you usually treat any cold or flu with.  Medications like fever-reducers (Tylenol), decongestants (Nyquil), expectorants (Mucinex) can help. Make sure to check your temperature.
  • If your symptoms are not improving after a few days of self-treatment, your fever is getting worse, or you’re having increasing trouble breathing:  Call Health Services 508-793-2276.
  • For medical emergencies call Public Safety 508-793-2222

Can I leave my room?  

  • You can leave your room or residence to pick up food (see: How do I get food? below) and go outside for a walk as long as you wear a highly filtered face covering (like a Kn95) over your nose and mouth and avoid close contact with others (i.e., stay at least 6 feet away from others). 
  • Avoid common spaces, including common areas in your residence, as much as possible. Avoid eating with others. Students should do this during the first 10 days after testing positive.

How do I get food?

  •  Breakfast/snack/beverage bags will be available in Hogan basement (area by the pool tables) from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm along with box lunches.
  • Dinner is available at Lower Kimball, side entrance, from 5 to 6 p.m. 
  • Snack/beverage/breakfast bags will be available at Hogan basement (area by the pool tables) between 7 and 8 p.m. 
  • Any questions or concerns with dining can be directed to ndomina@holycross.edu or call 508-793-2402.

How should I use shared bathrooms?

  • If you have the capability,  turn bathroom fans on anytime you use the bathroom and keep them on after you leave.  If you have to use the bathroom while being unmasked (brushing teeth & showering), try to go at lower traffic times.
  • Residence Halls with common area bathrooms (Alumni, Carlin, Brooks, Clark, Hanselman, Lehy, Healy, Wheeler):
    • Floors with more than one bathroom: One bathroom will be reserved to students in quarantine/isolation - please use this designated bathroom.
    • Floors that  only have one bathroom: You will have access to the quarantine/isolation bathroom on the closest gender floor to you.  Your HCID will let you in to the designated floor
    • You must use your mask in all common area bathrooms unless actively showering or at the sinks (washing your face or brushing your teeth).  
    • All common floor or wing bathrooms on campus will have signage indicating who may use each bathroom and if appropriate, what hours you can use a bathroom if you’re quarantining or isolating.

What should I tell my professors/ coach/ advisor, etc.?

Students who are required to isolate should contact their instructors directly to plan a way to keep up their coursework, which may include attending class virtually through Zoom or FaceTime or Skype with a classmate. Do not attend class, practice, meetings, etc. in-person while in your isolation period.

Who should I contact for support?

  • Residence Life & Housing: reslife@holycross.edu, 508-793-2411
  • Health Services: healthservices@holycross.edu, 508-793-2276
  • Counseling Center: 508-793-3363, 855-418-7282 (24/7 crisis support)
  • Chaplains: 508-793-2448
  • Public Safety: 508-793-2224, 508-793-2222 (emergencies)
  • Holy Cross COVID Core Team:  coronavirus@holycross.edu

Students Needing to Quarantine/ Close Contacts

What is quarantine?

Quarantine is for those individuals who are believed to have potentially been a close contact to someone with COVID-19, but have not tested positive. Whether or not you have to quarantine depends on your vaccination/ COVID status:

I’m not vaccinated/ haven't gotten my booster yet but my roommate is positive/ I’m a close contact:

  • You will have to quarantine for five days. Do not go to class.
  • If you live within 250 miles of campus, you MUST quarantine at home, no exceptions will be granted. Pack the belongings you will need for the next 7 - 10 days and head home as soon as possible
  • If you live on campus, reference the “Can I leave my room?”, “How do I get food?” & “How should I use shared bathrooms?” sections in the isolation protocol.
  • Day 0: The day you were exposed, begin isolation.
  • Day 0 - 5: Remain in quarantine.   
  • Day 5: Get tested and stay in quarantine until you get your result.
  • If you test negative AND you don’t have symptoms, you can end quarantine.
    • Day 5-10: Continue to follow Holy Cross mask policy, watch for fever (100.4◦F or greater), cough, shortness of breath, or other COVID-19 symptoms
  • If you test positive or develop symptoms
    • Isolate for at least 5 days from the date of your positive test (day 0) or 5 days from the date your symptoms began (day 0)
    • Follow isolation guidelines listed above.

I’m vaccinated and have gotten my booster AND/OR I have had COVID within the last 90 days but my roommate is positive/ I’m a close contact:

  • You will not have to quarantine.
  • You can move around campus and attend classes but must wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days from the date of your last close contact with someone with COVID-19 at all times.
  • Day 5: Get tested on campus 5 days after your exposure.
  • If you test negative AND you don’t have symptoms.
    • Day 5-10: Continue to follow Holy Cross mask policy, watch for fever (100.4◦F or greater), cough, shortness of breath, or other COVID-19 symptoms
  • If you test positive or develop symptoms
    • Isolate for at least 5 days from the date of your positive test (day 0) or 5 days from the date your symptoms began (day 0)
    • Follow isolation guidelines listed above.

How do I quarantine and reduce my exposure to my positive roommate?

  • Your roommate should be following the isolation guidelines listed above. If your roommate is not following the guidelines or you feel uncomfortable, talk with them about it.  If you live on campus, you can always contact your RA or a professional staff member from Residence Life.
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth at all times. Even though you haven't had a positive test, it’s a good idea to wear your mask when you are around your roommate to protect yourself and other roommates. . Wear a high filtration mask (like an n95, Kn95, Kf94, or double surgical mask).  Use a mask that has the best seal around your face (no gaps), and feels the most comfortable so you can wear it for long periods of time without touching it, frequently. The CDC has additional guidance on how to check and get a better fit for your mask.
  • Keep your space ventilated with good airflow as much as possible. Improving ventilation (air flow) can help prevent virus particles from accumulating in the air in your living space .Open a window with a fan blowing air outside. Turn bathroom fans on anytime you use the bathroom and keep them on after you leave. Use a portable air purifier if you have one. The CDC has additional guidance on improving air flow in your space.
  • Avoid sharing personal items like eating utensils, cups, plates, towels, etc.
  • Wash your hands as much as possible for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.

What do I do if I start feeling sick but tested negative?

  • Stay home if you begin to feel sick to avoid infecting others.
  • You can continue to test at Hogan if you’ve received a negative COVID test.

My roommate tested positive for COVID-19 and I have a high-risk medical condition. What should I do?

  • Call Student Health Services 508-793-2276

Who should I contact if I have questions?

  • Residence Life & Housing: reslife@holycross.edu, 508-793-2411
  • Health Services: healthservices@holycross.edu, 508-793-2276
  • Counseling Center: 508-793-3363, 855-418-7282 (24/7 crisis support)
  • Chaplains: 508-793-2448
  • Public Safety: 508-793-2224, 508-793-2222 (emergencies)
  • Holy Cross COVID Core Team:  coronavirus@holycross.edu

For Employees

When will I need to isolate?

You will need to isolate in the event of a positive COVID test. Employees must isolate for 5 full days after a positive test, with day 0 being your first day of symptoms, or the day of your positive test, whichever comes first. You may return to work on day 6 provided your symptoms are improved and you have been fever free for 24 hours.

  • If you’ve been fever-free for 24 hours, without taking medication such as Tylenol or ibuprofen, AND your other symptoms are improving, you may be able to end isolation after five days:
    • Day 0: Your positive test date (i.e., the date you took the test), begin isolation.
    • Day 0 - 5: Remain in isolation
    • Day 6: If you don’t have symptoms OR If you’re fever-free for 24 hours without medication and other symptoms are improving, you can end isolation.
  • If you’re still having symptoms on Day 5:
  • Day 5-10: Remain in isolation.
  • Day 10: You can end isolation as long as you do not have symptoms or, if you do have symptoms, you have been fever-free for 24 hours without medication and your other symptoms are improving. Continue to follow Holy Cross mask policy.
  • It’s important that you’re honest with yourself about your symptoms. Although it can be tempting to leave isolation, people with active symptoms can shed the virus at higher rates and still infect others.

When will I need to quarantine?

Fully vaccinated and boosted employees: 

  • Do NOT have to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19 unless they are exposed through a household contact. Contact tracers will assist in making a determination in these cases.
  •  In the case of a household contact: Fully vaccinated and boosted employees who are able to isolate away from their positive household contact may continue to work. If they cannot isolate away from the positive household contact they must stay home for the 5 day isolation period and test negative to return to work. (antigen or PCR is fine). 
  • Must monitor for COVID symptoms for 14 days after exposure
  • May test twice weekly after high-risk exposure for 14 days (as determined by a contact tracer) (recommend day 1, 5, 8, 12) 

Non-fully vaccinated employees:

  • Must quarantine for at least 10 days if exposed to COVID-19
  • Must be asymptomatic with a negative test on or after day 8 to be released after 10 full days
  • In the case of a household contact: Unvaccinated or non-boosted employees must quarantine for 5 days, and test negative on or after day 5. If you cannot isolate away from the positive person you must isolate for 5 days until the positive contact is cleared from isolation, and then quarantine for 5 more days.

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