If You Test Positive


  • Immediately leave work/class and separate yourself from others (even if you’re not experiencing symptoms). If you have a face covering, put it on until you are isolating. Enact your isolation plan. If you haven’t created an isolation plan, do so now. Learn more on the Isolation Information page.

Determine Your Timeline

  • Day 0 is the day you developed obvious symptoms or the day you provided a sample that came back positive, whichever was first. If you were asymptomatic when you tested positive and then developed symptoms while isolating, your isolation timeline resets and day 0 is the first day of symptoms.
  • Day 6 is the first day you can return to class/work, but only if you meet the following criteria:
    • You haven’t had a fever (less than 100.4) for the last 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication.
    • All other symptoms are gone or resolving.
    • If you don’t meet these criteria, continue isolating until you do.
  • It is critical that you wear a face covering at all times unless alone in a room through day 10.

Determine Your Close Contacts

  • A close contact is someone who was exposed to COVID-19.
  • Think about the period of time starting 48 hours prior to when you took a test that became positive (or 48 hours prior to onset of obvious symptoms). Anyone who meets ALL of the following criteria during this timeframe was exposed:
    • Was within 6-feet of you for 15 or more cumulative minutes.
    • Both you and the other person were not wearing a face covering.
  • Make note of those who were exposed and avoid exposing others during your isolation.


  • Communicate with your supervisor, instructors, and those in your living unit that you need to self-isolate for a period of time. If you’re feeling up to it and your supervisor/instructor is amenable, you may be able to arrange for remote work/class. Let them know when you anticipate returning to in-person work/class and then confirm when the time comes.
  • Communicate with those who you determined to have been exposed and direct them to the UNL Exposure Information page.


  • While isolating, monitor your symptoms regularly. Take your temperature every 12 hours to determine if you are developing a fever (100.4 degrees) or if your fever has gone away.
  • Look for emergency warning signs: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or pale, gray or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds. If you have any of these emergency warning signs or any other symptoms that are severe or concerning, contact the  University Health Center (UHC) at 402-472-5000,  or another medical provider for immediate consultation.