External Exposure

For an external exposure to a known COVID-19 case:

*COVID-19 Exposure (being a Close Contact) is defined as (1) being within approximately 6 feet of an individual with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period, or (2) having direct contact with the infectious secretions from an individual with COVID-19. Note: The definition of “close contact” does not include all other individuals on the same floor or in the same building as a positive individual, unless they also meet criteria (1) or (2).


If you are considered up-to-date on your vaccines (i.e., fully vaccinated and boosted, if eligible):

In accordance with CDC recommendations:

  1. Please schedule a test for at least 3-5 days after your exposure date listed above through the medical portal or immediately if you develop COVID-19 like symptoms.
  2. Please wear a mask in all public indoor settings and as required by the university. 
  3. You are NOT required to quarantine during this period. You may still attend class or work.
  4. If you develop COVID-19 like-symptoms, please contact the Colonial Health Center (students)(202-994-5300) or Occupational Health (faculty/staff)(202-677-6230). Please stay home as with any illness and work with your professors/supervisors to ensure you will not miss class and/or work.
  5. Seek medical care immediately for serious symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest discomfort or if you feel faint. As a GW affiliate, you have access to free on-campus COVID-19 testing when you need it regardless of your current testing schedule.


If you have a vaccine or booster exemption:

Please take the following steps during quarantine:

  1. Begin quarantine on the date of your last exposure to a positive COVID-19 case.
  2. On your next daily screening survey, please answer yes to question 3 (have you been in close contact).
  3. Schedule a COVID-19 test immediately and another for at least 3-5 days from your last exposure.
  4. Notify your professors/supervisors that you are quarantining and will not report to in-person class or work. 
  5. Monitor symptoms and seek medical care for serious symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest discomfort or feeling faint.
  6. You must have two negative tests before you are released from quarantine. We recommend that you monitor symptoms for 10 days as the safest course of action.
  7. You can find more detailed instructions here: Quarantine Guidance for Students, Quarantine Guidance for Staff/Faculty.


If you have any medical questions, please contact the Colonial Health Center (students) at 202-994-5300 or Occupational Health (faculty and staff) at 202-677-6230.