What to do if you have Covid-19 symptoms, test positive, or are a close contact
Updated: August 25, 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, either at MIT or an over-the-counter rapid test.
- 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.|
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.
- Notify your close contacts. They should continue to work/attend classes as usual but they should wear a mask around other for 10 days, self-monitor for any symptoms, and self-test at home on day 5 after the exposure.
- Isolate for 5 full days after your positive test result or after the onset of symptoms, whichever is later. Start counting on the first full day after your positive test or after symptom onset. Note: Covid Pass will automatically restore your campus access 5 full days after your positive test. However, if you develop symptoms for the first time after testing positive, you should continue isolating, and you should not access campus until 5 full days have passed since your symptoms began.
- If you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours and any other, remaining symptoms are mild and improving, you may leave isolation after 5 full days.
- Continue to wear a mask around others in all settings for an additional 5 days after leaving isolation.
- 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 with a positive individual for a cumulative 15 minutes or more over the course of 48 hours prior to their symptoms or positive result.
- Continue to work/attend classes as usual.
- Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
- Self-monitor for any symptoms.
- Self-test at home on day 5 after the exposure.
If you have questions:
Reach out to email@example.com.