Isolation and Exposure Guidance
Exposure to COVID-19
For vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals with no symptoms, no quarantine is necessary. Monitor for symptoms for 10 days.
For vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals with symptoms, go home to isolate and get tested with a rapid antigen test or lab PCR test. If the test is positive, alert PHRT (instructions below) and await information about isolation guidelines and other important resources. All positive test results are considered definitive.
Continuous exposure means that you are unable to separate from someone who has COVID-19, and are therefore being exposed on a daily basis. Additionally, monitor your symptoms and perform a rapid antigen test 5 to 6 days after the first exposure to the positive case AND 5 to 6 days after the end of the isolation of the positive case.
Residential students can use these best practices to minimize exposure in their shared living spaces.
Testing Positive for COVID-19
If you test positive, please isolate immediately and report this information to us here, and you will receive an email with isolation instructions to your Barnard-affiliated email address.
Determining your Isolation Timeline:
Barnard continues to follow the latest CDC guidance on isolation and exposure. Any student, staff, or faculty who tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, previous infection, or lack of symptoms, must follow these guidelines, as outlined below:
- Stay home for 5 days (except to get medical care or pick up food.( Day 0 is your first day of symptoms, or the day of your first positive test if you do not develop symptoms. You can calculate your isolation here.
- If you have a fever, continue to isolate until you are fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication.
Ending Isolation - You must stay home until:
- At least 5 full days have passed since your symptoms first started and
- You have not had a fever for at least 24 hours without taking medication, and
- Your symptoms are improving
*If you were severely ill with COVID-19, you should isolate for at least 10 days. Consult your healthcare provider before ending isolation.
Activity Following Your Isolation
If you are ending isolation before day 10, you may resume most normal activities. Still, you must wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask (ideally an N95 or KN95) when around others (in classes, at work, at group activities, in transit, etc.) and avoid situations where you are unable to mask (i.e., eating with others), until day 11.
Additionally, you should avoid being around people who are immunocompromised or likely to get very sick from COVID-19 or if their status is unknown. Students living on campus should not submit a facilities work order until day 11 after their isolation start date.
You should not PCR test for 90 days as tests may remain positive even after an infection has resolved and you are no longer infectious. If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 during this 90-day period, you might be advised to take a rapid antigen test by your provider.
Coping with isolation can be challenging, especially when worrying about illness.
Here are some ways to keep yourself busy and connected:
- Try talking to supportive friends and family. Listening to someone else or venting can help get you out of your own head.
- Open your window to let in fresh air and avoid feeling cramped or stuffy in your room.
- Reading can be a great way to escape reality, whether it's for pleasure or work. Try taking a break from screens and reading a print book.
- Get moving! Even if you feel well enough for only light exercise, do some stretches, march around your room, or try jumping jacks.
- Don't forget to take care of your basic needs, like eating well and staying hydrated, even if your routines have been disrupted.
- Relax and de-stress by listening to calming music or following guided meditations.
- Try a new hobby or activity that you can do at home, such as painting, knitting, or learning a new language.
- Take advantage of technology to stay connected with loved ones who may not be nearby.
- Schedule video calls or virtual movie nights.
- Journal or write down your thoughts and feelings to help process emotions and stay grounded.
- Take breaks from news and social media to avoid overwhelming yourself with information. Instead, focus on positive and uplifting content.
Recovery in Place
The College has adopted an "recovery-in-place" approach and no longer allocates specific areas on campus for students to quarantine and isolate in the event of exposure to or testing positive for COVID-19. This shift in policy is based on the advice of medical and public health professionals who have been advising the College during the pandemic and our dedicated Public Health Response Team (PHRT). The College strongly encourages those who test positive and can return home or find alternative accommodations, to do so during the recommended isolation period, if accessible by personal transportation (car) and not public transportation (airplane, bus, train.)
Should a student be severely immunocompromised and would be at risk of serious illness if they were to become infected with COVID-19, please email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Isolating in the Residence Halls
Students recovering in place on campus are expected to follow campus and community health guidelines and wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask when they need to access any shared indoor spaces (i.e. bathroom, hallways, etc.). Students in isolation are permitted to go outside, alone, while wearing a mask to get fresh air, or exercise, or to go to medical appointments.
Students are expected to wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask to pick up their food in the lobby or dining hall. They should minimize interactions with others (take the stairs, avoid crowded spaces, etc.) and be sure to tap the card reader when they return to their room.
Isolation periods can be a challenging experience, both physically and mentally.
For Medical Concerns: Students should call Primary Care Health Services (212-854-2091) to schedule an appointment. For assistance after hours, select option 4 to learn how to connect with a healthcare provider.
For Mental Health Concerns: Students should call the Furman Counseling Center (212-854-2092).
If you are experiencing serious or critical symptoms (e.g., chest pain, shortness of breath, etc.), call 911 immediately.
During a fire emergency, evacuation is the primary objective and social distancing is a secondary objective. In the event of a fire alarm or other alert prompting a building evacuation, remember the following:
- Students, faculty, and staff must immediately evacuate a building when the fire alarm sounds.
- Any person in isolation should wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask
- Every person should maintain physical distancing as best as possible while evacuating, but do not let physical distancing delay your evacuation.
Students living on campus should not submit a facilities work order until day 11 after their isolation start date. If there is an urgent issue (leak, extreme heat/cold), students should call the CARES help desk to arrange for help and then be sure to follow these best practices when interacting with the facilities staff members.
Students may not go to the mailroom until their isolation is complete. If there is a package that is needed urgently, the student should email email@example.com to arrange for someone else to pick these items up for them.
Students should follow regular lockout procedures by retrieving the key themselves, masking, and minimizing contact with others.
Isolation Information for Staff and Faculty
Hearing that you have tested positive for COVID-19 and need to isolate can be unsettling, but the goal is to keep you safe while also protecting others from being exposed to illness. Your health and well-being are important to us, and we are here to support you as you navigate this uncertain time.
While isolating, it’s important to monitor your health and call your primary care provider (PCP) if you have medical questions or concerns. The Employee Assistance Program for counseling and support services can be reached at 877-240-6863.
Many cases of COVID-19 are mild, but you need to take symptoms seriously. If you develop new symptoms or your symptoms are getting worse, call your PCP. Older adults and people with certain medical conditions are at higher risk for serious illness with COVID-19. A list of conditions can be found here.
You should call 911 immediately if you develop:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
Time off & COVID-related pay:
- Staff and faculty are responsible for communicating directly with their supervisor regarding absences and the date they will return to work.
- Staff and faculty should complete this form to connect with Human Resources about getting COVID-19 pay for the time they were scheduled to work but were unable to due to being in required isolation.
Any general questions for Human Resources, including who your HR partner is, can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.