The Difference Between Quarantine and Isolation

Quarantine

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. Quarantine means to stay home. 

You quarantine when you were exposed to the someone with COVID-19.

Quarantine Guidelines:

The Minnesota Department of Health quarantine guidelines state that people should complete a 5-day quarantine if they are not vaccinated or are not up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations at the time of exposure and if they were within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period.  

If you are not fully vaccinated and exposed, you should:

  • Stay at home for at least five full days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19. 
    • Count your last day of close contact with someone with COVID-19 as day zero.
    • Day one starts the day after your last close contact.
  • If possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home.
    • Use a separate bathroom if you can.
    • Avoid sharing personal household items (e.g., food, dishes, towels, or bedding).
  • Wear a well-fitting face mask for 10 days whenever you are around other people, even at home. 
  • Test on day five, if possible. If you test positive or start to have symptoms, follow the recommendations at If You Are Sick or Test Positive.
  • On days 6 through 10:
    • Avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk of severe disease and the settings where you may find these people.
    • Avoid travel. If you must travel, wear a well-fitting mask.
    • Avoid places where you need to remove your mask (e.g., gyms, restaurants).
    • Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others.

If you are fully vaccinated and exposed, you do not need to quarantine if you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19. 

  • You should watch for symptoms for 10 days.
  • Get tested on day 5, if possible, after exposure.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days when around others, even at home. The 10 days start from the day after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19. The actual day of close contact is counted as day zero.
  • If you start to have any symptoms, stay home and away from others immediately (isolate), get tested again, and follow the other recommendations at If You Are Sick or Test Positive.

If you have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days and are exposed, you do not need to quarantine if you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19. 

  • You should watch for symptoms for 10 days.
  • Get tested on day 5, if possible, after exposure.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days when around others, even at home. The 10 days start from the day after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19. The actual day of close contact is counted as day zero.
  • If you start to have any symptoms, stay home and away from others immediately (isolate), get tested again, and follow the other recommendations at If You Are Sick or Test Positive.

Student FAQ's for Screening, Testing and Notification

Employee FAQ's for Screening, Testing and Notification


Isolation

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Isolation means to stay away from other people.

People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. At home, anyone sick or infected should separate from others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area, and use a separate bathroom (if available).

You isolate when you have been infected with the virus, even if you don’t have symptoms. To assist with maintaining a healthy campus community, the University asks students, employees, and visitors to follow our notification procedures to assist with any response to positive COVID-19 cases.

Isolation Guidelines

Regardless of vaccination status:

  • If you have symptoms, get tested right away and stay away from others until you receive your test results.
    • Stay in a separate room and bathroom from other household members, if possible.
    • Wear a well-fitting mask if you must be around others.
    • Wash your hands often, with soap and water.
    • Cover Your Cough: cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Throw used tissues in the trash. Wash your hands.
    • If you test positive, stay home for at least 5 days and until all the following are true:
      • It has been 5 days since you first felt sick AND
      • You have had no fever (your temperature is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or lower) for at least 24 hours, without using medicine that lowers fevers AND
      • You feel better. Your cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms are better.
    • If a lab test shows a negative result for the virus, but you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay home until your symptoms are better and you do not have a fever. COVID-19 symptoms can be a lot like symptoms of other illnesses.
  • If you do not have symptoms OR your symptoms are resolving, and you are fever free without fever reducing medication, you can leave your home after 5 days.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for an additional 5 days.

Student FAQ's for Screening, Testing and Notification

Employee FAQ's for Screening, Testing and Notification