What to do if you get sick, test positive, or may have been exposed.

The university will continue to follow the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) in consultation with UI experts.

What to do if you're sick

  1. If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 stay home and isolate yourself from family, friends, and roommates as much as possible. If you develop symptoms while in class or on campus, go home or return to your dorm room.
  2. Call a health care professional who can assess your symptoms and risk factors and help you make a plan. DO NOT go to the emergency room unless you are having a medical emergency. You should not walk into any health care clinic if you suspect you have COVID-19, unless otherwise instructed to do so by a health care professional.
  3. Consult a health care provider to see if you need COVID-19 testing.

 

COVID-19 symptoms

  • Fever (temperature >=37.8 C or 100.0 F) 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

 

What to do if you test positive

Students

  1. Self-report via the university's online system using this link using this link and monitor your email for additional instructions.
  2. If you live on campus in a residence hall, self-reporting your status will initiate the process for arranging your isolation/quarantine space. Please self-isolate, wear a face mask, and order your meals online until a member of the Housing & Dining team contacts you to discuss your relocation needs and next steps.
  3. Self-isolate until you meet Centers for Disease Control (CDC) criteria to discontinue self-isolation:
    • 10 days since first symptoms
    • At least 24-hours with no fever (without fever reducing medication) and
    • Symptoms improved
  4. Inform close contacts and assist the Johnson County Health Department with contact tracing.

    Employees

    1. Self-report via the university's online system using this link using this link and monitor your email for additional instructions.
    2. Communicate with your supervisor to report sick leave.
    3. Self-isolate until you meet Centers for Disease Control (CDC) criteria to discontinue self-isolation:
      • 10 days since first symptoms
      • At least 24-hours with no fever (without fever reducing medication) and
      • Symptoms improved
    4. Inform close contacts and assist the Johnson County Health Department with contact tracing.

      Self-reporting Process for Students

      Self-reporting Process for Employees

      What to do if you may have been exposed

      Please follow this guidance if you have been told that you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, and you have NOT been fully vaccinated. If you have been fully vaccinated, please see the information below in the "Shortening Quarantine" section.

      Common Questions

      What counts as a close contact?

      The CDC defines close contact as:

      • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more.
      • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19.
      • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them).
      • You shared eating or drinking utensils.
      • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you.

      When should I fill out the Self-Reporting Form?

      Faculty, staff, and students who have NOT been fully vaccinated should fill out the self-reporting form if:

      • They have tested positive for COVID-19
      • They have been contacted by a public health agency and identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
      • They were told by someone that they were in close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19

      Faculty, staff, and students who HAVE been fully vaccinated (i.e. it's been at least two weeks since the final required dose of vaccine) should fill out the self-reporting form ONLY if they develop symptoms, in which case they are required to isolate as described above in the "What to do if you're sick" section.

       

      1. Follow the guidance of the local public health department related to seeking medical evaluation and possible quarantine.
      2. Self-report via the university's online system using this link and monitor your email for additional instructions. DO NOT complete the self-reporting form until you have talked with a health care provider about a positive test or you have been contacted by public health as a close contact.
      3. If you are an employee, notify your supervisor and human resources that you are quarantining and work remotely if possible.
      4. If you live on campus in a residence hall, self-reporting your status will initiate the process for arranging your isolation/quarantine space. Please self-isolate, wear a face mask, and order your meals online until a member of the Housing & Dining team contacts you to discuss your relocation needs and next steps.
        • Students living on campus will quarantine in a designated area coordinated by UH&D.
        • Students living off campus should quarantine in their residence.
      5. Quarantine as advised by your local public health department, or until you meet CDC guidelines to end quarantine.

        The gold standard continues to be that quarantine will last 14 full days from the last exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and Johnson County Public Health (JCPH) continues to recommend that all people quarantine for 14 days whenever possible. 

        See next section for detailed instructions on shortening the quarantine period for asymptomatic close contacts when the full 14-day quarantine presents an undue burden.

      6. Self-monitor for symptoms throughout the 14-day period following exposure. If you begin to have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, stay home and follow the guidance at the top of this page the describes what to do if you get sick. 

      Shortening Quarantine

      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided local public health authorities with new options to reduce the quarantine period for asymptomatic close contacts of people with COVID-19 infections when the full 14-day quarantine presents an undue burden.

      This update will apply to campus as outlined below.

      Students who have NOT been fully vaccinated for COVID-19

      Students should quarantine as advised by their local public health department, or until they meet CDC guidelines to end quarantine

      • Students living on campus in residence halls will be required to complete the full 14-day quarantine. 
      • Students living off campus may release after 10 full days of quarantine if the following are met: 
        • No symptoms
        • Negative diagnostic test (PCR) taken between days eight and 10. Students who live locally will need to order the test through Student Health or University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics to return to the classroom or on-campus employment. 
        • If social distancing is not possible, students must complete the full 14-day quarantine period.

      Employees who have NOT been fully vaccinated for COVID-19

      Employees who want to quarantine for the full 14 days should be allowed to do so unless they perform critical functions that must be performed on campus and their department requires them to return to work earlier (within the parameters outlined below) due to a critical business need.

      • Asymptomatic employees may shorten their quarantine as follows, as long as they are able to maintain social distancing in the workplace:
        • After 10 days regardless of testing, or
        • After seven days if they had a negative PCR (nasal swab) test result on day five of quarantine or later. In this case, employees must provide documentation of their test result to Faculty and Staff Disability Services or their local HR representative before returning to the workplace. 
        • If social distancing is not possible, employees must complete the full 14-day quarantine period.

      Employees and students who HAVE been fully vaccinated for COVID-19

      Vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:

      • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., at least 2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or at least 2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine), and
      • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.

      NOTE: Vaccinated individuals still must follow all safety precautions including wearing a face mask and social distancing, regardless of exposure. If symptoms develop, vaccinated individuals must follow the isolation protocols outlined above in the “What to do if you’re sick” section.

      All exposed students and employees should self-monitor for symptoms throughout the 14-day period and stay home of they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

      Isolation and quarantine space for students

      The university will provide isolation space for students diagnosed with COVID-19 who live in residence halls and space to quarantine close contacts.

      If you live on campus in a residence hall, self-reporting your status will initiate the process for arranging your isolation/quarantine space. Please self-isolate, wear a face mask, and order your meals online until a member of the Housing & Dining team contacts you to discuss your relocation needs and next steps.

      Students should quarantine as advised by their local public health department, or until they meet CDC guidelines to end quarantine. Students living on campus in residence halls will be required to complete the full 14-day quarantine period. 

      Medical care will be provided virtually by Student Health, the provider who made the diagnosis, or the student’s personal primary care provider.

      Employees: Contact a Health Care Provider

      Check your symptoms, talk to a medical professional, or schedule a video visit with the UI Hospitals & Clinics via MyChart.

      Students: Contact Student Health

      Consult with a medical professional who can assess your symptoms and risk factors and determine whether you need a COVID-19 test.

      Self-report

      Report positive test results, or that you’ve been identified as being in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.