University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

Isolation and Precautions

Updated August 19, 2022


Isolation is used to separate people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from those without COVID-19. For directions on how to isolate, read the CDC guidelines on isolation.

Who should isolate?

  • People who have a positive viral test for COVID-19, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms.
  • People with symptoms of COVID-19, including people who are awaiting test results or have not been tested. People with symptoms should isolate even if they do not know if they have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.

How long should I isolate?

A professional from the Health and Counseling Services Office will discuss the length of isolation with you.  Here are some general guidelines:

  • The CDC recommends a minimum 10-day isolation for individuals with severe COVID-19 illness or those with a weakened immune system.
  • Isolate at home for 5 FULL days (120 hours) from first day of symptoms or date of test if asymptomatic. Day 0 is your first day of symptoms or the date you took the COVID-19 test. 
  • If you were asymptomatic or your symptoms are resolving, you may leave isolation after 5 days but must continue to wear a face covering in all settings for an additional 5 days.
  • If your symptoms are not resolving, wait until you are fever-free for 24 hours and other symptoms are improving before ending isolation. 
  • If you DO repeat an antigen test at day 5 and it is positive, you should extend your isolation period to total a full 10 days of isolation.
  • If you are prescribed Paxlovid and become symptomatic again after completing the medication, you should re-start a 5-day isolation and continue masking everywhere for 10 days. See the recommendations for the Public in this CDC health advisory, issued May 24, 2022.
  • Please consult the CDC website for details about ending isolation for your specific circumstances

Where should I isolate?

Students should follow the guidance of Health Services.  Typically, if you are a commuter you should isolate at home.  If you are a resident student an all occupants of your room are in agreement, you may be given the option to "isolate in place."  This means you can isolate in your current assignment.  Students also have the option of moving to a dedicated isolation space. The Office of Health Services will advise you on where to isolate.

Precautions After COVID-19 Exposure

If you were exposed to COVID-19, you should wear a high-quality mask for a full ten days after your exposure, monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and take a test five full days after your last exposure. You can develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after exposure, so you must wear a high-quality mask for that entire period, even if you test negative on day five. Please consult the CDC website for additional details about what to do if you were exposed to COVID-19.

What if I still have questions?  

The departments comprising the Pitt-Johnstown COVID-19 Response Team are happy to answer your questions:

  • Dining Services ( for dining-related questions.
  • Housing Services ( for housing-related questions.
  • Health and Counseling Services ( for COVID-19-related questions including quarantine and isolation.