Aug. 20, 2021 – COVID health and safety protocols: Important reminders
This article will address the following:
- What to do if you are feeling sick with symptoms of COVID
- What to do if you test positive for COVID-19 or think you are a close contact of someone who is positive
- What should I expect if I am positive?
- Will I need to quarantine as a close contact if I am vaccinated?
- Will I need to quarantine as a close contact if I am unvaccinated?
- What should I expect if I am in the mandatory asymptomatic testing program?
- What are the guidelines for isolation and quarantine for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals?
- There is a positive person or close contact in my work area, residence hall, class or lab. What do I do?
What do I do if I am feeling sick with symptoms of COVID?
Individuals experiencing COVID symptoms should seek assessment and testing as quickly as possible. Find where to access testing HERE. It is very important to not report to work, classes or labs or other on-campus, in-person activities if you are experiencing symptoms until you have been evaluated.
What if I have tested positive for COVID-19 or think I am a close contact of someone who is positive?
It is important that the Public Health Central Command Center (Command Center) knows about all positive cases and close contacts to manage isolation and quarantine for the Vanderbilt University community. If you tested at the testing center on campus, Student Health or Occupational Health, you do not need to report your case to the Command Center as results are automatically routed to them. If you tested off campus, including VUMC off-site clinics, you should report your test to the Command Center. In addition, even if you are fully vaccinated, you need to report being a close contact to the Command Center. Find more information on reporting HERE.
What should I expect if I tested positive?
You will be contacted by the contact tracing team to determine your infectious period and your isolation period and to identify people you may have come in contact with during your infectious period. Please watch for messages from the contact tracing team. The Command Center will follow up with full isolation instructions. Find full information about the contact tracing team HERE.
Will I need to quarantine as a close contact if I am vaccinated?
Close contacts who are vaccinated and asymptomatic will not have to quarantine but are recommended to monitor their symptoms and get a COVID-19 test three to five days after last exposure. Close contacts who are vaccinated and symptomatic should get tested as quickly as possible and shelter in place until the result is returned. If negative, you can return to campus in-person activities immediately. If positive, report your result to the Command Center if it was not through the VU Testing Center. Symptomatic close contacts may have to quarantine based on the severity of symptoms and specific living situations. Find more information on quarantine for unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals HERE.
Will I need to quarantine as a close contact if I am unvaccinated?
Yes, close contacts who are unvaccinated will need to quarantine. Find more information on quarantine for unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals HERE.
I am in the mandatory asymptomatic testing program. What should I expect?
Individuals who are unvaccinated with an approved accommodation will be required to test weekly. You should visit the testing center (either walk in or drive up) during open hours for your weekly test. No appointment is needed. The test is a saliva test, it is painless, there is no cost to the individual, and results will be emailed to you and available in the testing app. Results are automatically routed to the Command Center. Find full information about the asymptomatic testing program, including testing center hours and more, HERE.
What are the guidelines for isolation and quarantine for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals?
- Any individual who tests positive for COVID needs to isolate for at least 10 days regardless of vaccination status and the presence of symptoms. The isolation period starts from the date of symptom onset or the date of the positive test if the individual is asymptomatic.
- An identified close contact who is fully vaccinated and is not experiencing symptoms is exempt from quarantine. The individual should wear a mask and monitor symptoms for 14 days after the exposure. Asymptomatic testing is recommended at three to five days after the exposure. If the individual becomes symptomatic, they should shelter in place and seek an assessment as soon as possible.
- An identified close contact who is not fully vaccinated must quarantine for 10 days after the last date of exposure. If that individual is living in the household with someone who tested positive, they must quarantine for 20 days.
The Student Health Center, Occupational Health or the contact tracing team will manage the dates an individual is released from isolation or quarantine and can return to campus. The dates may change over time due to symptom progression. Find more information HERE.
There is a positive person or close contact in my work area, residence hall, class or lab. What do I do?
Individuals who test positive will be contacted by the contact tracing team to determine their infectious period, receive isolation instructions, and identify close contacts. If you are deemed a close contact, you will be contacted by the contact tracing team to determine whether you are an actual close contact. If you do not hear from the contact tracing team, you were not identified as a potential close contact and no further action is needed. You should continue your normal activities. Find full information about the contact tracing team HERE.