COVID-19 Related Isolation and Quarantine Standards

For a summary of various scenarios where a student or employee might have a COVID-19 related absence from school and work refer to Requirements for on-campus activities (V6.2 updated 4-1-2022).

COVID-19-like Symptoms

People with any of the following symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore (or scratchy) throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms.

COVID19 emergency warning signs.
 

Isolation

Isolation to prevent spreading infectious disease, is when a sick person is separated from others for the full-duration of their potentially contagious period. The date that symptoms develop is considered day 0 (zero). The first full day after symptoms develop is day 1 of isolation.

Isolation means to stay home. Do not come to campus.

  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning signs (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible. Do not have visitors.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask when you need to be around other people in the household.
  • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
  • Take steps to improve ventilation at home, if possible.

Learn more about what to do if you are sick and how to notify your contacts. Notify healthandsafety@seattlecolleges.edu for confidential, contact-tracing support.
 

Quarantine

Quarantine is when a healthy person isolates for the period that they might become contagious due to an exposure event. The date of your exposure is considered day 0. Day 1 is the first full day after your last contact with a person who is infected with COVID-19. Stay home and away from other people for the full duration of the prescribed quarantine period. Contact healthandsafety@seattlecolleges.edu for support in evaluating the situation, risk, and date for a safe exit from quarantine.
 

Exposure Events

An exposure event is having close-contact with a person confirmed (by a positive test result) to be infected with COVID-19 within 48 hours before or while they are experiencing symptoms. People who have close contact to someone with COVID-19 after they completed at least 5 days of isolation are not considered exposed. If the person confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 did not experience symptoms, the exposure event would be having close-contact within 48 hours before and/or 5 days after the positive test was sampled. An exposure event does include receiving a text-based notification from Washington State Department of Health (via WA Notify) or contact-tracer notifications.

Close-contact is directly touching, being intimate with, or being closer than 6 feet away from a person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. For example, three individual 5-minute contacts for a total of 15 minutes is direct-contact.
 

Why get tested?

Seattle Colleges does not practice a test-based strategy for returning to school/work from isolation. Anyone who experiences the COVID-like symptoms (see listing at top of page) must isolate for the full duration of the isolation period – regardless of test results – especially if you’ve had an exposure event. Any person experiencing COVID19-like symptoms should get a rapid antigen test, as soon as possible. This is because infected people can be contagious up to 48 hours before they develop symptoms. If you test positive, notify healthandsafety@seattlecolleges.edu that contact-tracers can immediately respond to confidentially notify those who might have been exposed.
 

If you have COVID-like symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19

Steps to take if you have symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19:

Isolate for 5 days after your symptoms began. If you have no symptoms, isolate for 5 days from when positive test was sampled.

  • Do this no matter what your vaccination status may be.
  • Do this no matter what your COVID-19 test results may be. 

COVID19 emergency warning signs.
See definition above on this page for what it means to isolate.

When can you return to campus?

If symptoms are still present on day 5, do not exit isolation until symptoms have improved and you have not had a fever for 24 hours.

  • Taking medicine to reduce a fever does not count as being fever free.
  • Taking medicine to alleviate symptoms does not count as improved symptoms.

If you have no symptoms on day 5, you may return to campus and must wear a KN95 mask on campus for 5 additional days.

For a summary of various scenarios where a student or employee might have a COVID-19 related absence from school and work refer to Requirements for on-campus activities (V6.2 updated 4-1-2022).

Steps to take if you have been exposed to someone infected with COVID-19:

Quarantine for 5 days from the date of exposure. 

  • Do this no matter what your vaccination status may be.
  • Take a rapid antigen test on day 5 (before exiting quarantine). If positive, continue to quarantine for an additional 5 days (total of 10 days from the date of exposure).

See definitions above on this page for what is considered exposure and what it means to quarantine.

When can you return to campus?

If you test negative or do not have symptoms, you can return to campus after five days from the exposure event. You must wear a KN95 mask on campus for 5 additional days.

For a summary of various scenarios where a student or employee might have a COVID-19 related absence from school and work refer to Requirements for on-campus activities (V6.2 updated 4-1-2022).

Steps to take if you are living with someone who has COVID-19 or COVID-like symptoms (but has been unable to get tested for COVID-19):

Quarantine. Do not come to campus until you have clearance from Health & Safety.

See definitions above on this page for what it means to quarantine.

When can you return to campus?

Contact healthandsafety@seattlecolleges.edu for a situation specific evaluation and declaration of a safe campus return date.

For a summary of various scenarios where a student or employee might have a COVID-19 related absence from school and work refer to Requirements for on-campus activities (V6.2 updated 4-1-2022).

Steps to take if:

  • You live with someone who has been exposed (in quarantine) but they have no symptoms and have not yet been tested for COVID-19 (or they tested negative).
  • You are living with someone who has symptoms but tested negative for COVID-19.

You are not required to quarantine but if they develop symptoms, immediately go/stay home and contact healthandsafety@seattlecolleges.edu.

If they develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19, follow instructions for the above situation of “living with someone who has COVID-19.”

When can you return to campus?

Contact healthandsafety@seattlecolleges.edu for a situation specific evaluation and declaration of a safe campus return date.

For a summary of various scenarios where a student or employee might have a COVID-19 related absence from school and work refer to Requirements for on-campus activities (V6.2 updated 4-1-2022).