New policy on quarantine periods
December 16, 2020
MIT has followed the lead of the CDC, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the City of Cambridge in changing quarantine requirements for close contacts of individuals who have tested positive for Covid-19. Federal, state, and local guidelines now provide two options for individuals to leave quarantine earlier than 14 days. MIT has adopted the more stringent of these two options and is requiring a quarantine period of at least 10 days. Based on observational and published data and modeling, the CDC estimates an approximately 1% risk of someone developing Covid-19 after a quarantine period of this length.
During the quarantine period, individuals must actively monitor themselves for symptoms and take their temperature at least once every day. If an individual develops even mild symptoms or a temperature of 100°F or higher, they must immediately self-isolate and get back in touch with MIT’s contact-tracing team to arrange testing.
Unless symptoms develop, testing is not required during this 10-day period. However, if any quarantined individual wants to be tested, MIT’s contact tracers will arrange for testing on Day 5 or later. On Day 11, once the contact-tracing team has confirmed that the individual has remained asymptomatic, they will lift the individual’s Covid Pass hold.
Upon return to campus, the individual should immediately be tested at one of MIT’s regular Covid Pass surveillance-testing sites. As long as their previous test was done within the last 14 days, they will be able to access campus buildings and proceed with their normal campus activities the same day. However, if their previous test result is 14 days old or older, they will need to wait for a negative test result before their campus access is restored.
Additionally, individuals must continue to take their temperature daily and monitor themselves for other symptoms for a full 14 days from the date of their possible exposure to the virus. If they develop symptoms, they should contact MIT’s contact-tracing team immediately.