Updated COVID-19 quarantine/isolation practices at UW-Whitewater
As students, faculty and staff prepare to return to UW-Whitewater campuses for the spring 2022 term, the Emergency Operations Committee continues to meet and monitor the ongoing pandemic, with the health of students, staff and faculty our primary concern.
We thank all of you that have helped us maintain in-person classes, contributed to positive experiences within college life, and remained flexible as we have safely navigated this pandemic. We are not through this yet.
With the current surge in infections, the CDC emphasizes the following to keep yourself and others safe:
- If you are not yet vaccinated, including boosters, consider doing so
- Continue to wear a mask when indoors
- Get tested if you have symptoms
Instructors should prioritize continuity of education for students who are ill, quarantined or required to isolate. Students are responsible for communicating with their instructors about making up any missed class work (including getting notes from a classmate, etc.) that results from a COVID-19-related illness or quarantine/isolation. Similarly, staff should communicate with their supervisors when feeling ill or needing to quarantine/isolate.
As a result of recent changes in CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19, the EOC will be making changes to its practices regarding isolation and quarantine, as outlined below.
Isolation and quarantine guidelines
As a reminder, isolation refers to people who have tested positive for COVID-19, and quarantine refers to people who have been exposed, but have not (or not yet) tested positive. Recent updates to isolation and quarantine guidelines at UW-Whitewater include:
- Being up-to-date with one’s COVID-19 vaccinations is the determining factor when it comes to quarantine timeframes. (See below for the CDC's new terminology on vaccination status).
- Timeframes have been shortened, depending on whether there are symptoms or not.
- Masking at all times around people is a part of the new isolation/quarantine procedures.
In regards to vaccination status, the term “up-to-date” will replace “fully vaccinated” when referring to isolation and quarantine.
For example, your vaccination status is up-to-date if:
- You have received your full series of COVID-19 vaccinations and your booster, even if you just received your booster yesterday OR
- You have received your second dose of the Pfizer/Moderna series, but it’s been less than five months and thus you are not yet eligible for the booster OR
- You received your Johnson & Johnson vaccination, but it’s been less than two months, and you are not yet eligible for the booster.
Your vaccination status is NOT up-to-date if:
- You received your second dose of a Pfizer/Moderna series (or first dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccination) and are eligible for a booster but have not yet gotten one.
You test positive (regardless of your vaccination status)
If you test positive for COVID-19, whether up-to-date with vaccinations or not, isolation starts immediately at Day 0 and runs through Day 5. After Day 5, if your symptoms have decreased and you have no fever, then you can move out of isolation but you will have to wear a mask full time when around people for an additional 5 days. If you cannot wear a mask, you should not participate in that activity. Day 11 is when you no longer have to wear a mask around others (unless local masking rules require it).
You are a close contact and are up-to-date on your vaccinations
If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive and are up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccinations, you will NOT need to move to quarantine, but will have to wear a mask at all times around people for next 10 days and get tested at Day 5 or later.
You are a close contact and are NOT up-to-date on your vaccinations
If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive and are not up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccinations, quarantine starts immediately on Day 0 and extends through Day 5. After Day 5, if you have no symptoms and a COVID-19 test on Day 5 or later is negative, you can move out of quarantine but will have to wear a mask full time when around other people through Day 10. Day 11 is when you will not have to wear a mask around others (unless local masking rules require it).
Q: If I am playing a sport, and I am on Day 7 of quarantine or isolation and have no symptoms, do I still have to wear a mask?
A: Yes, through Day 10.
Q: If I did my 5 days in isolation and I do not have symptoms, can I move out of isolation and back to my residence hall? Can I go to class?
A: Yes, but you have to wear a mask full time around any people, including your roommate, through Day 10. You can go to class, but you have to wear a mask
Q: What if I live in the residence halls and need to isolate or quarantine?
A: Clem Hall is still available for on-campus students who need to isolate or quarantine for the initial 5 days. If you have no symptoms — or your symptoms have improved — after 5 days, you can return to your residence hall but you will need to wear a mask around people at all times. If your symptoms have not improved, you can stay at Clem Hall for the remaining 5 days.
Q: Can I isolate myself in my house/apartment with my roommates?
A: Yes, but you will need to stay in your own room and only come out, when necessary, while wearing a mask. Try to have your own bathroom or else clean it with disinfectant after each use. Try to use the kitchen when no one else is there and clean all touchpoints with disinfectant. Wear a mask when in common spaces whether anyone is there or not.
Q: If I am outside, can I take the mask off if I am in the mask-wearing time frame?
A: Only if no one is near you. If you are walking across campus and will be passing others, you need to continue wearing a mask.