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 place those in a living unit in quarantine to reduce the spread with 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 14 days. Quarantine starts over if someone else tests positive.
- Plan to get a COVID-19 test on the fifth or sixth day of quarantine. This is when the virus is more likely to be detectable and helps us more quickly identify positive cases. No one can “test out” of quarantine. Even if you have a negative COVID-19 test, you must quarantine for the full 14 days.
- Residents are not encouraged to go to their permanent address (home) to quarantine. This could unnecessarily put others at risk.
- Residents who have tested positive can come back to the congregate living environment only if they meet all three of these requirements:
- Ten 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.
- If residents decide to quarantine or isolate 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.
- 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.
- To help the living community prevent another cluster from developing and instill early detection, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department strongly recommends the following:
- If students moved out to quarantine elsewhere, they should get tested for COVID-19 between the tenth and 14th day of quarantine. The test result does not need to be submitted to the university. This recommendation is based on exposure prior to quarantine and will help prevent someone from unknowingly bringing the virus back to the living environment.
- If a student completes quarantine in the quarantined facility, they will not need testing at the end of the quarantine period unless they develop symptoms.
- Residents with pending test should continue to quarantine in their current location until they receive their test results. If the result is negative, they may return. If positive, the student should follow isolation guidance.
- Free testing is available on-campus at the 17th & R St. parking garage or in many locations around the state via TestNebraska.
- 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.
- 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).
- Keep surroundings clean. While the virus is not spread very well from contact with soiled household surfaces, they 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.
Individual Health & Safety Measures
- Keep six feet of distance from everyone.
- Wear face covering at all times unless in assigned room (unless showering).
- Limit contact with others by not going to in-person class, work, or social/religious gatherings. Be sure to notify instructors 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.
- 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 their 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.