• COVID-19 Home Quarantine Instructions

    This guidance is for people who were in close contact with someone diagnosed with or suspected to have the coronavirus (COVID-19).

    Why quarantine is important 
    Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. 

    If you have been in close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19, it is important for you to stay home, separate yourself from others, and monitor your health. Please read these instructions carefully. 

    For more information on COVID-19, visit the Minnesota Department of Health website. Call Counseling and Health Services or your health care provider for any questions related to your health.

  • What is a close contact?

    A “close contact” is any of the following people who were exposed to an infected person* while they were infectious: 

    • An individual who was within 6 feet of the infected person for at least 15 minutes
    • An individual who had unprotected contact with the infected person’s body fluids and/or secretions, for example, being coughed or sneezed on, sharing utensils or saliva, or providing care without wearing appropriate protective equipment

    *An infected person is anyone with COVID-19 or who is suspected to have COVID-19, and is considered to be infectious from 48 hours before their symptoms first appeared until they are no longer required to be isolated (as described in What To Do If You Have COVID-19). A person with a positive COVID-19 test but no symptoms is considered to be infectious from 48 hours before their test was taken until 10 days after their test.

    How long do I need to quarantine?

    You need to stay in quarantine for 14 days from when you last had close contact with the infectious person. The infected person should follow the What To Do if You Have COVID-19 guidelines.

    • If you continue to live with or care for the infected person, the amount of time you have to quarantine depends on the type of contact that you have. Find the situation that is most like yours below.
    • If you don’t know when you were exposed to the infected person and you received a public health emergency quarantine order, your last day of quarantine is 14 days from the date the order was issued.

    HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR QUARANTINE PERIOD

    You will need to stay in quarantine for 14 days from the date that you last had close contact with an infected person. See What Is A Close Contact? above for the definition of close contact and the examples below to learn how to calculate the last date in your quarantine period.

    If you have no further contact with the infected person

    Your last day of quarantine is 14 days from the date when you last had close contact with them. 

    Example: Your last close contact with the infected person: January 1 + 14 days = your last day in quarantine: January 15 

    If you continue to have contact with the infected person

    For example, you live with and/or care for the person with COVID-19.

    If you can avoid close contact, your last day of quarantine is 14 days from the date the infected person(s) in your household started to follow What To Do if You Have COVID-19 instructions. 

    Example: Infected person(s) started to follow home isolation instructions: January 5 + 14 days = your last date in quarantine: January 19 

    If you have close contact with that person at any point, the 14-day quarantine period will have to restart from the last day that you had close contact.

    Example: You started quarantine: January 5 -> You had another close contact with infected person: January 8 + 14 days = Your last date in quarantine: January 22

    If you cannot avoid close contact, your last day of quarantine is 14 days from the date that the infected person was told that they are “cleared” to stop their isolation. 

    Example: Infected person cleared to stop isolation: January 15 + 14 days = Your last date in quarantine: January 29

    If you received a quarantine order but don’t know when you were exposed

    Your last day of quarantine is 14 days from the date of issue on the order. 

    Example: Issue date on the quarantine order: January 20 + 14 days = Your last date in quarantine: February 3

    Should I get tested for COVID-19?

    As a close contact to someone with COVID-19, it is recommended that you get tested. 

    To get a test, call Counseling and Health Services at 651-523-2204 or find community testing sites online.

    Take precautions when you go to get the test (or to get other medical care) so you don’t unintentionally infect other people. Do the following:

    • Wear a surgical mask. If you don’t have one, wear a cloth face covering (see the cloth face coverings section section below). 
    • Use a private vehicle if possible. If you cannot drive yourself, be sure to keep as much distance as possible between you and the driver, wear a cloth face covering, and leave windows down, if possible. You should not use public transport. 

    If your test result is positive: 

    • It means that you have COVID-19.
    • You need to follow the Minnesota Department of Health’s instructions, available online at What To Do If You Have COVID-19
    • You need to tell all of your close contacts to quarantine and give them these instructions. 

    If your test result is negative: 

    • You may still be infected, but it is too early to show on the test. 
    • You need to stay in quarantine until 14 days after your last exposure to the infected person.
    • Monitor your symptoms and follow the quarantine restriction instructions below.

    Quarantine restrictions

    To prevent you from unintentionally spreading COVID-19 to uninfected people, you must restrict activities and limit all movements that may put you in contact with others during the quarantine period. 

    • Stay home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. You may only leave your place of quarantine or enter another public or private place to get necessary medical care. 
    • Do not allow visitors. 
    • Separate yourself from others in your home (unless they are also in quarantine).
    • Stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. It is very important to stay away from people who are at higher risk of serious illness. This includes people who are age 65 years or older or have a health problem such as a chronic disease or a weak immune system.
    • Use a separate bathroom, if available.
    • Stay at least 6 feet away from others. When this is not possible, wear a cloth face covering (see cloth face coverings section below).
    • Do not handle pets or other animals.
    • Do not prepare or serve food to others.

    Returning to work or school

    When your quarantine period ends, you can resume your usual activities, including returning to work and/or school. You should not need a letter from public health authorities or a negative test to return to work or school. 

    If you developed symptoms, you need to follow the What To Do If You Have COVID-19 instructions for returning to work or school.

    Resources for food and other necessities

    If you do not have someone to help you, you can arrange for food and other necessities to be left at your door. If you live off campus and need help finding food or other necessities, please contact the Dean of Students office or Mel Heikkinen, or visit the Minnesota Department of Health resource webpage. If you live on campus and are quarantined in a residential facility, meals will be delivered to you daily.

    COVID-19 symptoms and monitoring

    It is important to monitor your health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 which may include the following:

    • fever or chills
    • cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • fatigue
    • muscle or body aches
    • headache
    • sore throat
    • nausea or vomiting
    • diarrhea
    • congestion or runny nose
    • new loss of taste or smell

    This list of symptoms is not all-inclusive. 

    If you develop any of these symptoms or any other symptoms that are concerning to you, consult your medical provider. Tell them that you are a contact to someone with COVID-19. If you are having serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, feel pain or pressure in your chest, have bluish lips or face, or are experiencing a new onset of confusion or difficulty waking up, call 911 or go to an emergency room.


    Make a note of when your symptoms started and follow the guidance in What To Do If You Have COVID-19.

    Dealing with stress

    COVID-19 and quarantine may be stressful for people. Visit the Minnesota Department of Health’s resource guide to learn how to care for your mental health and support your loved ones. If you need to speak with someone about your mental health, contact Counseling and Health Services at 651-523-2204.

    Cloth face coverings

    See Hamline’s mask policy for more information about face covering requirements on campus.