Group living environments at the university include residence halls and fraternity and sorority houses. When a cluster of related cases is identified, Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department will place those in a living unit in quarantine to reduce the spread within the campus and community. When in quarantine, residents of the congregate (group) living environment are expected to follow this guidance.
Overview of Quarantine
- Identification of a cluster and transmission in a congregate living environment means everyone should follow strict quarantine guidance out of an abundance of caution.
- Quarantine starts the day after the last positive case was in the house or residence hall floor and ends after 10 days.
- Testing is not required nor can anyone “test out” of quarantine. Even if you have a negative COVID-19 test, you must quarantine for the full 10 days.
- Residents are not encouraged to go to their permanent address (home) to quarantine. This could unnecessarily put others at risk.
If residents decide to quarantine elsewhere, they should be mindful of how they travel. Airplanes, trains, and buses should not be used. It’s best if the resident travels alone in their own vehicle. If someone is picking up the resident, they should drive with windows down, wear face coverings, and sit as far apart as possible.
- Any resident from the specific quarantine area who tests positive for COVID-19 should immediately report their results to firstname.lastname@example.org and make plans to isolate. If living in University Housing, students will be asked to move into isolation housing.
- A positive test from any resident in the specific quarantine area does not automatically restart quarantine for everyone. Contact tracing will be performed to determine who needs to restart quarantine.
- Residents who have tested positive can return to the congregate living environment only if they meet all three of these requirements:
- 10 days since onset of symptoms (or from date of test if no symptoms were present)
- 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing meds
- All symptoms gone or improving over the last three days
- Students will not need testing at the end of the quarantine period unless they develop symptoms.
- Residents with pending test results should continue to quarantine in their current location until they receive their test results. If positive, the student should follow isolation guidance.
- If a student has tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days, they will not need to quarantine.
- Fully vaccinated individuals – a person who has had two doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine, and is two weeks or more out from their second dose (or out from the single dose of J&J) – are not required to quarantine following exposure. Individuals should still self-monitor for symptoms in the 14 days after an exposure and seek medical advice if symptoms develop.
- Specific circumstances may require additional health and safety measures be taken by individuals or the community and will be determined UNL and/or the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.
Individual Heath and Safety Measures
- Keep six feet of distance from everyone.
- Wear face coverings at all times unless in assigned room or showering.
- Limit contact with others by not going to in-person class, work, or social/religious gatherings. Be sure to notify faculty and supervisors of absence.
- Self-monitor for signs of possible infection, including fever (100.4 degrees F or 38.0 degrees C or higher, measured twice a day) or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, recent loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea. Consult with a medical provider if you have symptoms or to determine if and when you should be tested. Free testing is available.
- Members of the congregate living environment should not eat in a common dining room or restaurant. All food should be prepared in their assigned room, delivered to them or provided as take-out.
- A strict ‘no visitors policy’ should be in place for the specific quarantine area.
- Bathrooms and high-touch surfaces should be cleaned twice a day, seven days a week. While the virus is not spread very well from contact with soiled household surfaces, residents should try to clean surfaces that are shared with others, such as door knobs, telephones, and bathroom surfaces (or any other object that they sneeze or cough on) with a standard household disinfectant such as Clorox wipes. Wash hands after cleaning the area.
- Common areas should not be used unless it’s a bathroom or laundry facility.
- Cohorting should be applied to shared bathrooms, preferably with assignment to specific fixtures within the facility (showers, sinks, toilets).
- Cough or sneeze into your arm and never cough in the direction of someone else.
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Wash/sanitize after coughing/sneezing directly into hands or after handling used tissues.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding, or any other items until your group is no longer asked to quarantine.