What is Quarantine?
Quarantine is a public health strategy used to limit contact between someone who may have been exposed to the virus and other members of the community. Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms (asymptomatic). Quarantine helps keep the rest of the community healthy and is how we look out for our fellow Huskers.
Length of Quarantine
If an individual has been in close contact with or has had confirmed exposure to COVID-19 they must quarantine for at least 14 days from their last exposure. This may be determined by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), or by the UNL Public Health Advocacy Team.
If an individual is experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 (fever/chills, cough, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, fatigue, new loss of sense of smell, or body ache), they should immediately consult a medical provider. The University Health Center can be reached at 402-472-5000. The medical provider will determine if and when you should be tested for COVID-19.
Plan to arrange for a COVID-19 test on the 5th or 6th day of quarantine. This is when the virus is more likely to be detectable and helps us more quickly identify positive cases. However, one or more negative tests during quarantine does not mean you can end quarantine before the 14-day period has ended.
If a COVID-19 test comes back positive, you’ll need to follow isolation guidance.
Where to Quarantine
In most cases you can safely quarantine where you currently live. Please follow all guidance in the How to Quarantine section below.
If you live in a residence hall, view quarantine guidance for students living in University Housing.
How to Quarantine
While observing quarantine, please follow this guidance:
- Notify your roommate(s) that you are quarantining.
- Stay in your room and out of public spaces.
- Do not go to work, in-person classes, events, or other social or religious gatherings. Be sure to notify your instructors that you won’t be attending in-person classes.
- Do not go to restaurants to eat. Only prepare meals at home, get take-out, or have food/meals delivered.
- Limit contact with others, including roommates, family, friends, and partners.
- Stay 6-feet away from other individuals at all times.
- Wear a face covering any time you leave your bedroom.
- Cough or sneeze into your arm and never cough in the direction of someone else.
- Frequently wash your 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 your hands or after handling used tissues.
- Avoid touching your 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 the quarantine period has ended.
- Keep your surroundings clean. While the virus is not spread very well from contact with soiled household surfaces, try to clean surfaces that are shared with others, such as door knobs, telephones, and bathroom surfaces (or any other object that you sneeze or cough on), with a standard household disinfectant such as Clorox wipes. Wash your hands after cleaning the area.
- 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. In the event of an emergency, call 911.
- Campus health services – University Health Center: 402-472-5000
- Mental health support – Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): 402-472-7450
- Individualized academic and personal support – Student Advocacy and Support: 402-472-7030
- Well-being support – Big Red Resilience & Well-Being: 402-472-8770
- Local health info – Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department
- Emergency: Call 911