Fact Sheet for Faculty and Staff: What to Do While Isolating

Updated July 26, 2022

Isolation prevents the spread of an infectious disease like COVID-19 by separating people who have tested positive and may have symptoms from those who have not. Because of your positive test for COVID-19 you will need to isolate at home, even if you do not have symptoms, to avoid spreading the infection to others. In most cases, isolation lasts for 7 days.

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

  • Stay in your home as directed, preferably in a separate room. You should not have visitors and should avoid close contact with others.
  • If you live with family or have roommates, wear a mask or face covering in the common areas of your home. Practice physical distancing (at least 6 feet or 2 meters) from others.
  • Monitor your health and call your primary care provider (PCP) if you have medical questions or concerns.
  • Do not share items with others, like dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, etc.
  • Do not shake hands, hug, kiss or engage in other physical contact.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • People in isolation can utilize a shared bathroom one at a time, wearing a mask and cleaning after use.
  • Have food, groceries and other supplies delivered through a no contact method.

What to Watch for

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. The Yale Health team is available 24/7. 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 at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/index.html.

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

Length of Isolation

The duration of isolation is 7 days from the date the positive test sample was collected, plus at least 24 hours without a fever and improvement in symptoms.

If you are released at Day 7 you must continue to wear a mask at all times, both indoors and outdoors through Day 10.

Release from isolation will be provided via email. Please wait for a release email before ending isolation. This email may also be used for return to work.

You should not PCR test for 90 days as tests may remain positive even after infection has resolved and you are no longer infectious. If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID during this 90 day period, you might be advised to take a rapid antigen test by your provider.

The Yale Health team is available 24/7 to help and offering you the opportunity to have any questions answered.

  • Campus COVID Resource Line: 203-432-6604
  • Employee Assistance Program for counseling and support services: 800-327-9240

Up-to-date university guidance and information about COVID-19 can be found at covid19.yale.edu.

Ways to Stay Active and Connected

Isolation can be a difficult time and you may find yourself worrying about whether you may become sick. Try to keep yourself and your mind busy, and stay connected with people who can support you.

What About My Close Contacts?

Yale has implemented a COVID Outreach Program to optimize the safety of our campus. Learn more about the Yale COVID-19 Outreach Program.