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Quarantine and Isolation

Updated Jan. 11, 2022

Isolation

Isolation is used to separate people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from those without COVID-19.

Who should isolate?

  • People who have a positive viral test for COVID-19, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms.
  • People with symptoms of COVID-19, including people who are awaiting test results or have not been tested. People with symptoms should isolate even if they do not know if they have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.

How long should I isolate?

  • Isolate at home for 5 FULL days (120 hours) from first day of symptoms or date of test if asymptomatic.
  • If you were asymptomatic or your symptoms are resolving, you may leave isolation after 5 days but must continue to wear a face covering in all settings for an additional 5 days.
  • If your symptoms are not resolving, wait until you are fever-free for 24 hours and other symptoms are improving before ending isolation. 

Where should I isolate?

Students should follow guidance from contact tracers or Student Health Services on where to isolate. Faculty and staff should consult with their physician or health care practitioner regarding where to isolate.

Quarantine

Quarantine is a strategy used to prevent transmission of COVID-19 by keeping people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 apart from others.

Who should quarantine?

If you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, you should quarantine if you are in one of the following groups:

You do NOT need to quarantine if you have received all CDC recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people. You should wear a face covering in all settings for 10 days. You may also wish to get tested on day 5, but it is not required.

How long should I quarantine?

  • If you develop symptoms, call Health Services (724-836-9947) or MyHealth @ Work at (412-647-4949), get tested and isolate until you receive the results. If you test positive follow isolation guidance.
  • If you do not develop symptoms, quarantine for 5 days after your last contact with a person with COVID-19 and wear a face covering in all settings for an additional 5 days.  The date of exposure is considered day 0. You may also wish to get tested on day 5, but it is not required.

Where should I quarantine?

Most students living on campus will quarantine within their residence hall room or suite. In some cases, students may quarantine elsewhere if quarantining in their residence hall is not advised. Students living off campus will typically quarantine in their off-campus housing. Students may also choose to quarantine in their permanent residence. Faculty and staff should quarantine in their permanent residence.

How can I regain access to University buildings when my quarantine or isolation period ends? 

Reestablishing building access via Pitt I.D. can sometimes be delayed at the end of a quarantine or isolation period. The Building Access Status Self-Check Application was designed to provide approval for building access via smartphones during this time. Pitt affiliates can log on to pi.tt/conform to check compliance for building access. Individuals who are granted access will see a green check mark and the app will note that access is granted. Individuals who are denied access to Pitt buildings, which may be due to quarantine, isolation or a lack of negative COVID-19 test results on file for the week, will see a red X and the app will note that access is denied.

Please note that all Pitt affiliates must swipe or tap a Pitt I.D. when entering buildings. If an individual has conformed but their Pitt I.D. is still recording non-conformance, the affiliate may show the green check mark on a smartphone to gain temporary access until their I.D. is updated. The app cannot be used alone to gain access to a building, but must be used in conjunction with a valid Pitt I.D.  Building concierges have been informed about the app and will allow individuals to enter Pitt facilities when a Pitt I.D. and the app showing a green check are presented.

Check your building access at pi.tt/conform.

If you have more questions about quarantine and isolation, please contact the COVID-19 Medical Response Office at cmro@pitt.edu