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 (2 meters) of an individual with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes, regardless of wearing a mask or (2) having direct contact with the infectious secretions from an individual with COVID-19, regardless of wearing a mask (e.g., being coughed on). 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 fully vaccinated by CDC definition*:

In accordance with CDC recommendations:

  1. Please schedule a test for at least 4 days after (on day 5) your exposure date listed above (Day 1) 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 are not considered fully vaccinated by CDC definition*:

Please take the following steps during quarantine:

  1. Begin quarantine on the date of your last exposure to a positive COVID-19 case (Day 1).
  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 4 days (Day 5) from your last exposure (day 1).
  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. CCST will release you from quarantine after 10 days (on Day 11). Only CCST can release you from quarantine.
  7. We recommend that you quarantine and monitor symptoms for 14 days as the safest course of action.
  8. 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.

* Fully vaccinated is defined as people that received the final required dose in their vaccine series at least 2 weeks ago. (e.g., 2 weeks following the 2nd dose for 2 dose vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna and 2 weeks following the first dose for 1 dose vaccines like Johnson & Johnson)