Isolation Clearance Protocol

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The George Washington University will shorten its COVID-19 isolation protocol, enabling community members to be released from isolation in as little as five days after testing positive for COVID-19 or becoming symptomatic. A combination of improved symptoms and a negative COVID-19 antigen test is required to be released from isolation. GW’s new protocol aligns with DC Health guidelines. 
 

Protocol Summary

Day 1

Day 1 is your first full day of symptoms or your first day of a positive COVID-19 test, whichever is earlier. 

 

Day 2

Starting Day 2, you must do the daily symptom screener in the medical portal.

   

Day 5

If asymptomatic or symptoms are markedly improved and you have no fever, take a home antigen test.

GW will provide you with a free at-home antigen test to those exiting isolation if you need one. Submit results to the medical portal.

 

If Day-5 Antigen Test is Negative

If your test is negative, the Student Health Center or Occupational Health may clear you from isolation.

 

 

If Day-5 Antigen Test is Positive

If your test is positive, stay in isolation.

 

 

Day 6-9

If asymptomatic or symptoms are markedly improved and you have no fever, take a home antigen test.

GW will provide you with a free at-home antigen test if you need one. Submit results to the medical portal.

 

Day 10

If you are still in isolation, the Student Health Center or Occupational Health will clear you based on your symptoms, with no antigen test required.

 

 


 

Details of Protocol

The start date of isolation is the first full day of COVID-19 symptoms, or the date of a positive COVID-19 test, whichever is earlier.  This is no change from current practice.

All campus members who test positive for COVID-19 are expected to complete a daily symptom survey in the medical portal. Answers to the survey are crucial in determining if you can end isolation as early as five days. These surveys are monitored by Student Health (students) and Occupational Health (employees) who will review the survey and let you know if you are eligible to end isolation with a negative antigen test. The Campus COVID Support Team (CCST) will continue to contact every positive case on campus to perform contact tracing and to reinforce isolation procedures. 

The CCST will also determine if you have access to a home COVID antigen test or can come to campus and pick one up. They are available at the symptomatic testing center in the University Student Center. If not, GW will send you an antigen test by Federal Express to your home. Students isolating on campus will have a test delivered to them by the residence life staff. The kits will have two test cartridges – one for day 5 and another for day 7 if you need it. Antigen tests are provided free of charge to any campus member testing positive for COVID-19 for the purpose of ending isolation.

By day five, SHC or OH will message you if you are eligible to test based on your reported symptoms in the daily survey. If your COVID antigen test is negative SHC or OH may clear you out of isolation. If it is positive, you can test again on day 7 and clear isolation if it is negative. If the day 7 test is positive, you will remain in isolation for 10 days and will be cleared using symptom resolution criteria.

If you test negative on or after Day 5, please submit your negative test to the medical portal by clicking on Messages and selecting 'Submit Negative COVID-19 Antigen Test Result (for the purpose of Isolation Clearance) (All Populations)'.

*If you test positive, you should remain in isolation. Please do not upload a positive antigen test for the isolation test out procedure.

1. Place your resulted antigen test cartridge and GWorld card side by side and take a picture with your smartphone

2. Log into the medical portal and select “Messages”

3. Choose option: “Submit Negative COVID-19 Antigen Test Result (for the purpose of Isolation Clearance) (All populations)”

4. In the body of the message include: the date and time you took the test and the brand name of the antigen test kit used

SHC or OH will review the test result. Only SHC or OH can clear someone out of isolation from COVID-19.  Your badge will remain red and you cannot enter campus spaces when you are in isolation status.

 


FAQ

Am I required to test on Day 5 or 7?

If asymptomatic or your symptoms are improved and you are notified that you are eligible to test by SHC or OH, you are expected to test. We want students back in class and employees back to work as soon as it is safe to do so.

What happens if I do not do the daily symptom survey?

The symptom survey will assist SHC or OH in determining if you are eligible to take the day 5 or day 7 antigen test. If it is not complete, they will have to contact you by email or phone which may delay your ability to end isolation sooner than 10 days.

How do I get an antigen test kit?

If you do not have one you can pick one up at the COVID symptomatic test site at the University Student Center. You should only go there if your symptoms have resolved and you must wear a mask.  Alternatively, a friend or family member can pick it up for you.  If this is not possible, GW will send a kit to you by Federal Express.

Will I be charged for the antigen test kit?

No.

Can anyone get a free antigen test kit from GW?

GW will be distributing antigen test kits, at no charge, only to campus members who have tested positive for COVID-19 for the purpose testing out of isolation.

How do I perform a home antigen test?

Instructions are in the package. If you are having difficulty you can call SHC or OH and get help over the phone.

How will I know if I am eligible to test out at Day 5 or Day 7.

SHC or OH will review your symptom survey and let you know by an electronic message or phone call. If you have no fever, and only mild symptoms such as mild fatigue or lost of taste of smell, you should be eligible. If you have fever, continued cough, sore throat or other significant symptoms, you are not eligible to end isolation with a negative antigen test.

How do I submit my results?

Instructions will accompany kits distributed by GW. Place your resulted antigen test cartridge and GWorld card side by side and take a picture with your smartphone. Log into the medical portal and select “Messages”. Choose option: “Submit Negative COVID-19 Antigen Test Result (for the purpose of Isolation Clearance) (All populations)”. In the body of the message include: the date and time you took the test and the brand name of the antigen test kit used.

Should I only submit my results if they are negative?

Yes, only submit your results if they are negative. If you test positive, you should remain in isolation. Please do not upload a positive antigen test for the isolation test out procedure.

Can I get another PCR test instead of doing an antigen test?

No. PCR tests are highly sensitive and can pick up fragments of COVID virus RNA up to 45 days after you become infected, even if you are no longer contagious.  Positive rapid antigen test results have been associated with the presence of viable COVID-19 virus.