Quarantine + Isolation Procedures

The university has protocols and procedures in place for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or who have close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. A substantial number of quarantine and isolation accommodations for residential students as well as isolation accommodations for undergraduate students living off-campus are available.

In general …

  • Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 should isolate for five days and must have no symptoms at five days in order to leave isolation; otherwise, they must remain in isolation until they are free of symptoms. (Note: Johns Hopkins Medicine follows different return to work protocols)
  • Those who are vaccinated and boosted who have had a close contact with someone who tested positive do not need to quarantine.
  • Those who are unvaccinated or vaccinated but not yet boosted and have had a close contact with someone who tested positive must quarantine for five days. 
  • Anyone with a close contact—whether vaccinated/boosted or quarantining—will need to test negative at five days.

Close contact is defined as 15 or more minutes of contact within 6-foot distance.

FROM THE HUB
Quarantined on campus

A team of staff and faculty from Student Affairs, Transportation, Student Health and Well-Being, and other units has been working to support students who test positive for COVID-19

Returning to work or class after COVID

Guidance for employees

  • Employees who test positive through the JHU testing process will be contacted by phone or email by the JHCCC
  • If you tested at home, call the JHCCC at 443-287-8500 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, to be sure the university knows that you have tested positive
  • You are required to isolate for five days from the date of your positive test; the date of your positive test is considered Day 1
  • Your supervisor will be contacted to note that you are off-duty
  • While you are off-duty, you are not permitted to be on campus and should coordinate with your supervisor to determine if you should take sick leave or can continue some activities remotely
  • You and your supervisor will be automatically notified that you are cleared for return to work and may return to campus on the sixth day if you are free of symptoms; a negative test is not required to return to campus
  • If you continue to have any symptoms, you must remain off campus

Guidance for students

  • Students who test positive through the JHU testing process will be contacted by phone or email by the JHCCC or student health center.
  • Students who test positive at home or at an off-site location should complete this form to ensure the university knows that you have tested positive and will not be required to test for 90 days
  • You are required to isolate for five days from the date of your positive test
  • Your school student affairs staff will be contacted to note that you are off-duty
  • During this time, you are not permitted to be on campus and should coordinate with your instructors for either remote access or makeup of classwork
  • You will be automatically notified that you are cleared and may return to campus on the sixth day if you are free of symptoms; a negative test is not required to return to campus
  • If you continue to have any symptoms, you must remain off campus

Student-specific procedures

We have an inventory of university-provided isolation housing for the spring semester, and we have adjusted our protocols to ensure we are prioritizing its use to house those undergraduates whose living situations put them at most risk of spreading the virus to others. Undergraduates living in residence halls are our first priority because congregate living often makes isolation in place difficult. 

Undergraduates living off campus are no longer required to isolate in university-provided housing; such housing cannot be guaranteed for off-campus students but may be made available if inventories allow and considering the student’s individual circumstances.  

If university-provided housing is nearing capacity, residential students who test positive for COVID may be asked to isolate in their room. This will allow the university to prioritize isolation housing for residential students most in need, such as those with medical conditions that place them at higher risk from COVID; those who are experiencing more serious presentations of COVID; or those whose living arrangements may make it difficult to isolate (such as students living in doubles as opposed to suites with individual bedrooms).

The information below details what is required of students who test positive or who are deemed to have had meaningful exposure with someone who tests positive. We are defining meaningful exposure as a household contact (living with a COVID-infected person for at least 24 hours), such as a roommate, suitemate, housemate, or intimate partner.  

Additionally, any student who is symptomatic should call the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center at 443-287-8500. 

Undergraduates living on campus

Vaccinated + Boosted

  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate for a minimum of 5 days. Currently, students can be cleared after 5 days if asymptomatic or cleared after 6 days if symptoms are improving. We are no longer requiring a negative antigen test for clearance. Students must continue to wear a well-fitting mask until day 10 regardless of symptoms.  
  • If a student has no symptoms but has a household exposure (living in the same household with a COVID-infected person for at least 24 hours), no quarantine is required, but asymptomatic testing is required at 5 days from exposure. 

Vaccinated (not boosted)

  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate for a minimum of 5 days. Currently, students can be cleared after 5 days if asymptomatic or cleared after 6 days if symptoms are improving. We are no longer requiring a negative antigen test for clearance. Students must continue to wear a well-fitting mask until day 10 regardless of symptoms. 
  • If a student has a household exposure who tests positive for COVID-19, they must quarantine for a minimum of 5 days and test on day 5 to be cleared from quarantine. 

Unvaccinated with exception

  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate for a minimum of 5 days. Currently, students can be cleared after 5 days if asymptomatic or cleared after 6 days if symptoms are improving. We are no longer requiring a negative antigen test for clearance. Students must continue to wear a well-fitting mask until day 10 regardless of symptoms. 
  • If a student has a household exposure to someone who tests positive for COVID-19, they must quarantine for a minimum of 5 days and test on day 5 to be cleared from quarantine. 

Undergraduates living off campus

Vaccinated + Boosted

  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate for a minimum of 5 days in their private residence and continue to wear a well-fitting mask until day 10. 
  • If a student has no symptoms, but has a household exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, no quarantine is required but asymptomatic testing is required at 5 days from exposure. 

Vaccinated (not boosted)

  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate for a minimum of 5 days in their private residence and continue to wear a well-fitting mask until day 10. 
  • If a student has a household exposure who tests positive for COVID-19, they must quarantine for a minimum of 5 days and test on day 5 to be cleared from quarantine. 

Unvaccinated with exception

  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate for a minimum of 5 days in isolation housing on campus (if space permits; otherwise, isolate in a private residence)
  • If a student has meaningful exposure to someone who tests positive for COVID-19, they must quarantine for 5 days in a private residence and test on Day 5 to be cleared from quarantine

Graduate students living off campus

Vaccinated + Boosted

  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate for a minimum of 5 days in a private residence and continue to wear a well-fitting mask until day 10. 
  • If a student has no symptoms but had a household exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, no quarantine is required, but asymptomatic testing is required at 5 days from exposure. 

Vaccinated (not boosted)

  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate for a minimum of 5 days in a private residence and continue to wear a well-fitting mask until day 10. 
  • If a student has a household exposure to someone who tests positive for COVID-19, they must quarantine for a minimum of 5 days in a private residence and test on Day 5 to be cleared from quarantine. 

Unvaccinated with exception

  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate for a minimum of 5 days in a private residence and continue to wear a well-fitting mask until day 10. 
  • If a student has a household exposure to someone who tests positive for COVID-19, they must quarantine for a minimum of 5 days in a private residence and test on day 5 to be cleared from quarantine. 

Note: Regarding minimum isolation timeframes, the exact number of days in isolation is based on a variety of factors and is subject to change on a case-by-case basis as determined by the Student Health and Wellness Center clinical team. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to COVID to see if they become sick. Isolation separates sick people with COVID from people who are not sick. 

Last updated: May 11, 2022 2:43pm

I just received a positive COVID test result? What happens now?

JHU affiliates who test positive through the JHU testing process will be contacted by phone or email by the Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center or the Student Health and Wellness Center. If you had a positive antigen test at home, fill out this JHCCC form to be sure the university knows about your test result.  

You are required to isolate for 5 days from the date of your positive test. Residential students will be contacted by a COVID case manager about university-provided isolation housing or instructions for isolating in place. Your supervisor or school Student Affairs staff will be contacted to note that you are off-duty/away from class. During this time, you are not permitted to be on campus and should coordinate with your supervisor/instructors to determine if you can continue some activities remotely. You will be automatically notified when you are cleared and may return to campus on the sixth day if you are free of symptoms; a negative test is not required to return to campus. You should continue to wear a well-fitting mask until day 10. 

Last updated: May 11, 2022 2:13pm

What happens if I have meaningful exposure to someone who tests positive for COVID-19?

If you are vaccinated and boosted, no quarantine is required, but asymptomatic testing is required at five days from exposure.

If you are vaccinated but not boosted, you must quarantine for a minimum of 5 days and test on day 5 to be cleared from quarantine.

If you are unvaccinated with an exceptionyou must quarantine for five days and test on day 5 to be cleared from quarantine. 

Last updated: May 11, 2022 2:15pm

How are students notified of meaningful contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19?

Through its Investigation, Contact Analysis, and Notification (ICAN) process, the JHCCC will conduct a short interview with students who test positive regarding their on-campus activity to detect any patterns or clusters of infection/exposure. Any Johns Hopkins affiliates identified by the infected student as household contacts (living in the same household with a COVID-infected person for at least 24 hours) can be notified directly by the student themselves or can be notified through the ICAN process.   

We do not plan to do a broader notification of an entire class when a student is positive. We are relying on our indoor risk-mitigation measures that include our vaccination mandate, mandatory indoor masking, improvements in classroom air ventilation and filtration, mandatory asymptomatic testing among all undergraduate students and unvaccinated affiliates, and the availability of voluntary testing to all students. 

Our collective experience, and that of our peers, to date is that transmission is not occurring in instructional settings but instead occurring outside of class where students are unmasked and/or engaging in close contact for extended periods of time. 

Last updated: May 11, 2022 2:51pm

What happens if a student tests positive and does not know the other students with whom they were in class?

Through its Investigation, Contact Analysis, and Notification (ICAN) process, the JHCCC will conduct a short interview with all students who test positive regarding their on-campus activity.  Any Johns Hopkins affiliates  (including peer students, instructors, and/or teaching assistants) identified by the infected student who came in close contact with that student (defined by the CDC as being within 6 feet of the infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) will be notified through the ICAN process.  The ICAN/JHCCC team will do everything in its power to maintain the anonymity of the test-positive student.

At present we do not plan to do a broader notification of an entire class when a student is positive. We are relying on our indoor risk-mitigation measures that include our vaccination mandate, mandatory indoor masking, improvements in classroom air ventilation and filtration, daily symptom screening, capacity limits in classrooms, mandatory asymptomatic testing among all undergraduate students and unvaccinated affiliates, and the availability of voluntary testing to all students.

Our collective experience, and that of our peers, to date is that transmission is not occurring in instructional settings but instead occurring outside of class where students are unmasked and/or engaging in close contact for extended periods of time. We will continue to monitor for transmission in instructional settings at JHU and among our peers and stand ready to initiate a more aggressive approach with notification and implementation of additional measures.

Last updated: Sep 15, 2021 5:04pm

My roommate was just diagnosed with COVID. What do I do now?

You will receive an email from Investigation, Contact Analysis, and Notification (ICAN), a part of the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center, with instructions. Generally, if you are vaccinated and boosted, no quarantine is required, but asymptomatic testing is required at 5 days from exposure. If you are vaccinated but not boosted, you must quarantine for a minimum of 5 days and test on day 5 to be cleared from quarantine. If you are unvaccinated with an exceptionyou must quarantine for 5 days and test on day 5 to be cleared from quarantine. 

Last updated: May 11, 2022 2:15pm

What happens if a student can’t attend class because they are in isolation or quarantine?

Students are asked to connect directly with their faculty about this. Residential undergraduate students at Homewood and Peabody will be connected with a COVID case manager to help navigate this situation. Graduate students should communicate directly with their faculty, PI, and/or supervisors.

Last updated: May 11, 2022 2:16pm

What is the process when a student has to isolate?

After a student has spoken to one or more members of the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center or Student Health and Wellness Center, an email will be sent to the student and Student Affairs administrators from each campus. Undergraduate students at Homewood and Peabody will be connected with a COVID case manager to walk them through the quarantine/isolation process. 

  • Undergraduate residential students will be contacted by the JHCCC clinical team to determine where they will isolate and be connected with a COVID case manager for support. 
  • Undergraduate off-campus students should connect directly with faculty for any academic concerns and can reach out to covidsupport@jhu.edu for resource questions. 
  • Graduate students should connect directly with their faculty, PI, or supervisor. 

Students in university housing will be assigned to one of three isolation locations or they may be asked to isolate in place based on their residential living situation. Undergraduate or graduate off-campus students that are not using university housing will be asked to isolate in their off-campus residence. During this time, students will not be able to attend classes and should work directly with their faculty.

All students are encouraged to take advantage of remote university services through their campus; this may include the Counseling Center, Academic Advising, or faculty advisors.

Last updated: May 11, 2022 2:17pm

What is the difference between a household contact and a meaningful contact?

A household contact is a roommate, suitemate, housemate, or intimate partner living in the same household with a COVID-infected person for at least 24 hours. A meaningful contact, or community contact, is someone that the positive student has been within 6 feet of for more than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period; we are not currently requiring quarantine for this type of contact. 

Last updated: May 11, 2022 2:18pm

Will parents or guardians be notified of a student’s COVID status?

In alignment with FERPA and HIPAA regulations, a student’s COVID status will not be shared with parents or guardians. If a student would like a member of the Student Health and Wellness Center to speak with their parents regarding their COVID status, they should complete a release of information request. 

Last updated: May 11, 2022 2:19pm

How can students access food while in quarantine or isolation?

Students in university isolation housing at one of the university-managed facilities will receive all of their meals free of charge. These meals will be delivered to the student’s door or picked up at a designated location. For students living off-campus, they should speak with roommates, friends, or family to make sure someone can help them access food. Students can also have food delivered to their off-campus residence. For students isolating in place in their university residence hall, they are assigned a meal pick-up location.

Last updated: May 11, 2022 2:19pm

What happens if a student doesn’t follow isolation guidelines?

Students are asked to follow the isolation guidelines to protect themselves and those around them. Students who are sick with COVID and those who have had exposure could continue to be contagious for a number of days after diagnosis. To reduce the spread of COVID, students are asked to not leave their home for the duration of their quarantine or isolation. If students are found to violate these guidelines they will be referred to Student Conduct for follow-up. 

Last updated: May 11, 2022 2:20pm

What happens when a student is contacted by ICAN?

Investigation, Contact Analysis, and Notification (ICAN) is the contact tracing system for Johns Hopkins. When a student is diagnosed with COVID, they are contacted by a member of the ICAN team. The ICAN team will ask the student about household contacts and meaningful contacts. It is important for students to be honest with the ICAN team; the specific information the ICAN team gathers is not shared with anyone else at the university. Students identified through the ICAN team as household contacts or meaningful contacts may be directed to quarantine in campus housing or in their off-campus residence.

Last updated: May 12, 2022 8:40am

When can I leave isolation and resume normal activities after a COVID infection if I had symptoms?

The CDC advises: You can end self-isolation after 5 (full) days since symptoms first appeared AND 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications AND other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving. JHU will release students from isolation after 5 days if they are symptom-free. Residential students in university-provided isolation housing will automatically be released on day 7+ even if they still have symptoms. This will enable us to prioritize isolation housing for students with new-onset COVID infections since people are more contagious two days before on-set of symptoms and the first 3-4 days of symptoms than they are on day 7+ of symptoms. 

We further require that, afterwards, individuals wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public until they have reached 10 days from the onset of their illness. 

Last updated: May 12, 2022 8:42am

Isolation in place

What is isolation-in-place?

The isolation-in-place protocol is enacted when university-provided isolation housing is nearing capacity. Isolation-in-place is for individual students who have tested positive and need to isolate in their room according to university guidance. This change in protocol will allow the university to prioritize isolation housing for residential students most in need, such as those with medical conditions that place them at higher risk from COVID; those who are experiencing more serious presentations of COVID; or those whose living arrangements may make it difficult to isolate (such as students living in doubles as opposed to suites with individual bedrooms).

Last updated: May 12, 2022 9:42am

How is the university prioritizing the university-provided isolation housing vs. those who need to isolate in place? 

The university will prioritize moving a student to university-provided isolation housing depending on a number of factors, including room configuration, how ill the student is feeling, and if the student has any high-risk medical factors. Students who test positive will discuss options with one of our health care providers.

Last updated: May 12, 2022 9:43am

Are COVID-positive residential students isolating in place in the dorms?

We are at times isolating residential students who live in single bedrooms, either with their own bathroom or a bathroom shared with suitemates. These students are not permitted to use any common areas.

We are not isolating any COVID-positive student with a non-COVID-positive roommate. In the future, we may isolate COVID-positive roommates together, noting that the CDC says, “The goal of isolation is to avoid infecting people who are not already infected. If multiple people in a household have confirmed COVID-19, it’s fine for them to isolate together.”

Last updated: May 9, 2022 9:36pm

What options do I have if my roommate/suitemate tests positive and begins isolating in place?

We are not currently isolating a COVID-positive student with their non-COVID-positive roommate, although we may have to do this in the future if our numbers continue to increase. We have started to isolate COVID-positive roommates together, noting that the CDC says, “The goal of isolation is to avoid infecting people who are not already infected. If multiple people in a household have confirmed COVID-19, it’s fine for them to isolate together.” We are also isolating roommates together if one had a COVID infection within the last 10 days and another roommate becomes positive. 

During a surge, our focus will be on those students who are experiencing symptoms and may be particularly vulnerable because of other health factors. If we are isolating in place, it means we have limited university-provided isolation housing. If you have an existing medical condition that you think puts you at risk, you should consult with the Student Health and Wellness Center. 

Last updated: May 12, 2022 9:44am

If I am isolating in my on-campus residential room that is part of a suite, can I use the common area? What about the shared bathroom?

If in isolation, you are not permitted to use the common areas in your suite or in the residence halls. If sharing a bathroom, you should wipe down the faucets and other surfaces after use, open any windows, and run the fan continually until out of isolation.

Last updated: May 12, 2022 9:46am