Quarantine & Isolation

The university will require isolation for any GW on campus community member who tests positive for COVID-19 and will require quarantine for individuals who meet the current medical definition of COVID-19 exposure while test results are pending or until a 14-day quarantine period is complete.

What is isolation?

Isolation means staying completely separate from others. According to the CDC, isolation is a measure taken to separate people who have tested positive for COVID-19 away from others who are not sick. Generally, isolation lasts for 10 days but it depends on when symptoms started. Please review the isolation guidance for students (PDF) and for employees (PDF) for more information.

What is quarantine?

To quarantine means to stay in your living space away from other people as much as possible. According to the CDC, quarantine is used when someone may have been exposed to COVID-19 as a measure to slow the spread of the disease. Quarantine for the on campus GW community will last 14 days or until you are cleared by a medical professional. 

Support and Resources for Students

If you become aware that you have been or may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should monitor yourself for symptoms and contact the Colonial Health Center (CHC) immediately. During this time, you should limit your contact with others as much as possible, and always wear a mask to avoid potentially infecting others. 

All classes are virtual, and students will be able to participate in classes online during the quarantine or isolation period. The university will monitor the health status of the students in isolation and quarantine. Where needed, the university will provide medical care, deliver meals and provide other assistance to students in quarantine or isolation.

Self-Isolation and Quarantine On Campus

As all students on campus have their own bedroom, if a student residing in the residence halls tests positive for COVID-19, the resident will be required to remain in their room until cleared to discontinue isolation by the Colonial Health Center and Campus COVID Support Team (CCST). Students in isolation may not leave their residential unit unless directed by medical personnel to seek testing or care. During their self-isolation period, students will have a dedicated Care & Student Support Team staff member to assist with student needs including delivery of cleaning supplies, groceries and essential items to the student's room. Students will receive medical guidance and consultation with a Colonial Health Center medical provider throughout their isolation period. 

If a student resides in a unit with a suitemate, the suitemate will be required to quarantine in their unit until cleared to discontinue quarantine by the CCST. Suitemates of a resident in self-isolation who are required to quarantine will have a dedicated Care & Student Support Team staff member to assist with student needs including delivery of cleaning supplies, groceries and essential items to the student's room during their quarantine period. If a suitemate resides in a District House Affinity room and shares a bathroom with a suitemate, the suitemate will be required to utilize an alternate bathroom within the suite until their suitemate is cleared to discontinue isolation.

Support and Resources for Faculty and Staff

If you become aware that you have been or may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should monitor yourself for symptoms and seek testing immediately. If you have a positive test, Occupational Health, as well as the CCST, will follow up within 24 hours. CCST can facilitate communication with specific GW officials, if desired.

During this time, you should work virtually and limit your contact with others as much as possible to avoid potentially infecting them. Faculty and staff will be required to quarantine or isolate at their place of residence.

The GW Occupational Health program, provided by the GW Medical Faculty Associates, will serve as a resource for faculty and staff and clear them for return to campus.

The university’s time-off policy has been augmented specifically for the COVID-19 situation. A new paid time off option, pandemic time, is available to support faculty and staff who are isolating, in quarantine or caring for a loved one. 

Returning from Isolation or Quarantine

Anyone in quarantine or isolation will need a clearance from the university’s medical experts to return to campus. Clearance protocols will be based on CDC and D.C. Health guidance and coordinated with GW’s clinical entities.