COVID-19 News

Positive Tests, Isolation, and Close Contacts

Positive Tests, Isolation, and Close Contacts

Process for Positive Tests and Close Contacts

Testing Positive

If you are a member of the on-campus community who has tested positive for COVID-19, please review the below steps you need to take to help protect the health and wellness of all Lawrentians.

Close Contact

Current health guidelines define a close contact as anyone who is within 6 feet of a positive case for at least 15 minutes in one day. This time can be continuous or split up over the course of a day. For example, the contact occurred 5 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. Typically, anyone sleeping under the same roof for at least one night is considered a close contact, though this can vary.


Isolation: the act of separating people with transmissible infections (such as Covid-19) from persons who are not infected. Persons designated as being in isolation should remain separated from others until it’s safe for them to be around others.

  • Students who live on campus will isolate in place. There will be alternative spaces for special circumstances.
  • Students who live off campus should remain separated from others in an isolated room or area and use a separate bathroom (if available).

During Isolation on Campus

Students in isolation on campus will be provided with contacts across campus to help them adjust and ease disruption in routine. Students will also receive a list of resources on and off campus for after-hours needs.

The following guidelines apply to students in Isolation; any member of the campus community in isolation should follow similar practices applicable to their living situation to limit exposure to others.

  • Stay in your room to minimize exposure. If you must leave, wear a 4-ply or better mask and sanitize your hands before leaving your room.
  • Do not have guests to your room.
  • If you have a roommate, wear a 4-ply or better mask in your room except while sleeping.
  • Do not attend any in-person classes or activities.
  • Food services:  Students must sanitize their hands before leaving their rooms and properly wear a 4-ply or better mask when picking up food. Students may eat in their rooms or outside; there can be NO eating in Andrew Commons or other public spaces.
  • Keep surfaces clean.
  • Wash your hands often and practice good hygiene.
  • Postpone any travel. If you must travel, please contact Wellness Services first for instructions and precautions.
  • Postpone all nonessential personal medical appointments (such as dental cleaning, eye exam, routine check-up) until you are out of isolation. If you have an essential in-person appointment during this time, please call your provider ahead of time.
  • Virtual medical and wellness appointments should continue as needed and planned

Ending Isolation

  1. If you tested positive and did not experience symptoms of COVID-19, you may end isolation after day 5, but are required to wear a well-fitting 4-ply or better mask through day 10.
  2. If you experienced symptoms of COVID-19, you may end isolation after day 5 (the onset of symptoms is day zero) if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication, and if your symptoms are improving. You are required to wear a well-fitting 4-ply or better mask through day 10. If you still have a fever or your symptoms are not improving, you must continue to isolate until they improve.

After clearing from isolation (days 6-10 after your positive test date):

  • You will need to wear a 4-ply mask or better mask around others for five additional days.      
  • You will need to get food and bring it back to your room to eat. NO eating in Andrew Commons or other public spaces.
  • If you play an instrument that requires you to remove your mask to play, you will need to arrange virtual lessons until 10 days after your positive test date or day that your symptoms started.
  • You can attend in-person classes/activities wearing a 4-ply or better mask.
  • A COVID-19 PCR test may show a false positive result for up to 90 days following your positive test date. (Contact a healthcare provider if you have concerns.)

Calculating Isolation

  • No Symptoms
    • Day 0 is the day you tested positive.
    • Day 1 is the first full day following the day you tested positive.
    • If you develop symptoms within 10 days of being tested, the clock restarts at day 0 at the onset of symptoms.
  • With Symptoms
    • Day 0 of isolation is the day of symptom onset, regardless of a positive test.
    • Day 1 is the first full day after the day your symptoms started.

For additional information, visit the CDC website.

Close Contact Information

What to Do If You Were Exposed to COVID-19

Lawrence is following Center for Disease Controls guidance and will no longer require close contacts to quarantine after an exposure to COVID-19.

If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19:

  • Day 0 is the day of your most recent exposure to someone with COVID-19. Day 1 is the first full day after your exposure.
  • Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 10 days.
    • You can develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after you have been exposed.
    • IF YOU DEVELOP COVID SYMPTOMS such as a fever (100.4°F or greater), cough, shortness of breath, etc., get tested and DO NOT attend in-person classes/activities.
    • Get tested on day 6. Test even if you don’t develop symptoms.
  • You can attend in-person classes/activities if you do NOT have any symptoms of COVID.
  • Wear a high-quality mask any time you are around others inside your home, dorm room, or anyplace indoors in public for ten days.
  • Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask. (Masks are available from Wellness Services.)
    • Take extra precautions if you will be around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.
    • You do not need to wear a mask while sleeping.
    • Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask, including travel and public transportation settings.
    • Wash your hands frequently.
    • Stay away from people who are high risk for getting very ill from COVID-19.
    • Keep surfaces clean.


Guidance for using an at-home COVID-19 antigen (rapid) test if you are experiencing symptoms or have had an exposure.

  • Rapid tests are available for students through Wellness Services 920-832-6574 or Campus Safety 920-832-6999.
  • If you receive a positive result initially or after a repeat test, this means the test detected the SARS-CoV-2 virus and you most likely have COVID-19.
    • Contact Wellness Services 920-832-6574 for instructions on Isolation.
    • Stay in your room, do NOT attend in-person classes/activities.
    • Double mask or wear a KN95 mask or better if you must leave your room or have a roommate.
  • If you receive a negative result, the test did not detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus at the time of that test.
    • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, test again 48 hours after the first negative test, for a total of at least two tests.
      • If you get a negative result on the second test and you are concerned that you could have COVID-19, you may choose to test again 48 hours after the second test, consider getting a PCR test, or contact Wellness Services.
    • If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms and believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, test on day 6 after your exposure, then test again 48 hours after the first negative test.
    • If you get a positive result on any repeat test with an at-home COVID-19 antigen test, you most likely have COVID-19 and should contact Wellness Services or Campus Safety if after hours.

Additional Information for Students, Faculty, and Staff Living Off Campus Who Visit Campus

Students, faculty, and staff living off campus who visit campus in any capacity will isolate at their off-campus residence.

Students can contact Wellness Services for medical support.

Employees should contact their local healthcare provider.


Medical Help

Non-Medical Help