What to do if you have Covid-19 symptoms, test positive, or are a close contact
Update: Effective January 12, 2022
See the guidance below as a flowchart.
If you have symptoms:
- Report symptoms – even very mild symptoms – in Covid Pass or the Atlas mobile app.
- Take a Covid test. If you’re on campus, you can test at MIT. Test drop-off is available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, in W20 or at the external MIT Medical tent on Carleton Street; both locations are open to the public during normal business hours (no card access required). If you’re not currently coming to campus, obtain a test from your local pharmacy or health care provider.
- Stay home until you receive a test result. If you test positive, follow the instructions below (“If you test positive”).
Symptoms may include: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
If you test positive:
|Using MIT’s campus testing system||Using your own test or a test from outside of MIT’s campus testing system:|
|There’s no need to report your positive test result, as it is already in MIT’s system.||Report your positive test result in Covid Pass or on Atlas (question #2 in the “Mandatory Daily Covid-19 Attestation”).|
For either testing option above:
- Complete MIT Medical’s Case Information Form. The form will give you more detailed instructions on your required isolation period.
- Share your close contacts with MIT Medical. Think about anyone who might be a close contact, download and complete the close contact spreadsheet, and email it to email@example.com.
- Isolate for 5 full days. After five full days of isolation, your campus access will be restored. Day zero is the day of the test (not the onset of symptoms) and does not count toward your isolation. If you have a fever or your symptoms are not improving after 5 days, continue to isolate.
- If you have had no fever for 24 hours and any symptoms are mild and improving, you may end the isolation period after 5 full days. You must continue to wear a mask around others in all settings for an additional 5 days.
- Do not test with MIT’s testing program for 90 days. This CDC recommendation is due to the high rate of non-infectious viral shedding, which MIT’s highly sensitive PCR testing will pick up. If you become symptomatic between your positive test and the 90-day mark, consult with MIT Medical or your regular healthcare provider.
How do I know when I am free and clear of Covid if I cannot test? CDC guidelines don’t require a test at the end of isolation except for certain populations (e.g., health care workers). If you are free of symptoms, or the symptoms you have are mild and improving, there is no need to test to prove you are “free and clear.” However, you MUST wear a mask at all times when around others for days 6 through 10 after your positive test.
If you have been a close contact of a positive individual:
Who is a “close contact”? Anyone who was within 6 feet of a positive individual for a cumulative 15 minutes or more over the course of 48 hours prior to their symptoms or positive result.
|If you are vaccinated and boosted, or are vaccinated but not yet eligible for a booster:||If you are unvaccinated, or are eligible for a booster but have not yet been boosted:|
|Wear a mask around others for 10 days.|
Test on day 5 after the exposure (or on your regular MIT testing cadence).
Students can attend classes and activities during this time, and employees can report to work if on-site work is required.
|Quarantine at home for 5 days. After 5 days of quarantine, your campus access will be restored.|
Test on day 5 after the exposure.
Wear a mask around others for the following 5 days.
If you have questions:
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.