Return to Campus

Isolation & Exposure to COVID-19

Individuals with questions, comments, or constructive feedback can email covid-19@wiu.edu. In addition, a comments/concerns form has been established for easy submission.

Protocols and Definitions

To ensure the health and well-being of the WIU community, faculty, students and staff will be expected to comply with the isolation and exposure protocols provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Exposure to COVID-19

If you were exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 or have been told by a healthcare provider or public health authority that you were exposed, here are the steps that you should take, regardless of your vaccination status or if you have had a previous infection. It’s important to know that individuals can develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after exposure.

Day 0 is the day of your last exposure to someone with COVID-19.
Day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure.

  • Wear a face covering anytime you are around others inside your home or indoors in public.
  • Take extra precautions if you will be around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.
  • For travel guidance, see CDC’s Travel webpage.
  • Watch for COVID-19 symptoms . If you develop symptoms, complete a COVID-19 test and isolate until you receive your result. If severe symptoms develop, contact Beu Health Center (309) 298-1888 or your primary care provider.

Test on day 6, even if you don’t develop symptoms.

  • If the test is negative, continue taking precautions through day 10, including wearing a face covering, monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms, etc.
  • If the test is positive, begin isolation protocols with Day 1 being the first full dayfollowing the day you were tested.

For more information related to what to do if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19, please visit the CDC website.

When to Isolate

Regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate from others when you have COVID-19.

You should also isolate if you are sick and suspect that you have COVID-19 but do not yet have  test  results. 

If you test positive for COVID-19, you are most likely infectious during the first 5 days.

  • Stay home and separate from others as much as possible.
  • Do not travel.
  • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (like trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • Continue to wear a face covering when around others.
If you have no symptoms:

Day 0 is the day you were tested (not the day you received your positive test result).

Day 1 is the first full day following the day you were tested.

Individuals with no symptoms, may end isolation after day 5, but need to continue to wear a face covering through day 10.

If you develop symptoms within 10 days of when you were tested, the clock restarts at day 0 on the day of symptom onset.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms :

Day 0 of isolation is the day of symptom onset, regardless of when you tested positive.

Day 1 is the first full day after the day your symptoms started.

If your symptoms have improved and are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication), you may end isolation after 5 days, but need to continue to wear a face covering through day 10.

If your symptoms included moderate illness, including a shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, continue isolation through day 10.

If you had severe symptoms, including hospitalization or a weakened immune system, continue isolation through day 10 and consult with your doctor before ending isolation.

*Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.

For more information related to COVID-19 isolation, please visit the CDC website.

WIU Self-Reporting

With access to COVID-19 home kits, individuals can test at home. The University encourages individuals to utilize home kits to help mitigate transmission. If you take an at-home test with a positive result, the University requests that you self-report by going to the COVID-19 Self Report Form.

WIU Campus Community Isolation Plan

The University has an established plan to assist in the event that a student must be quarantined or isolated (on-campus and off-campus) due to COVID-19.

The Process
  • The individual will receive their COVID-19 test results from a self-administered test (either home test kit or at on-campus testing site) or their primary care provider or Beu Health Center.
  • The individual is responsible for self-reporting their positive diagnosis through the WIU COVID-19 Self-Report Form.
  • If Beu Health Center conducted the test through the health center facility, a confidential report will be provided to the WIU Student Development and Success Center (SDSC). This department specializes in working with students in events that involve illness, crisis, and mentoring.
  • If a student needs further assistance with the notification of instructors, SDSC will help by request of the student.
  • The student will be instructed to remain in their residence hall room or off-campus apartment or house for the duration of their isolation and only should come out when necessary (with a face covering on).
  • University Housing and Dining will communicate with on-campus students to inform them of the policies surrounding their isolation.
  • All individuals will be expected to follow the procedures outlined.
  • Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to three months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. Individuals who develop symptoms again within three months of getting COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.
Symptomatic Individuals:

Any member of the University community who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or exhibits symptoms must stay home and if necessary contact Beu Health Center or their primary care physician. They should NOT come to the University Testing Center. Any student, faculty member, or staff member who is sick, or suspects they are getting sick, must stay home and should follow the necessary precautions outlined below:

Students Residing On-Campus:
  • Step 1: Stay in your room and perform a home test kit (if available) or contact Beu Health Center (309) 298-1888 or your primary care physician for guidance regarding obtaining a COVID-19 test based on symptoms. If you are able to perform a home test kit and the result is positive, self-report by  going to the COVID-19 Self Report Form.
  • Step 2: Students: If you need professors and instructors notified that your absences are COVID-19 related, please send an email to SDSC@wiu.edu and COPY ALL OF YOUR PROFESSORS asking the SDSC to confirm COVID-19 related absences. SDSC will reply all and confirm.
  • Step 3: The University, along with University Housing and Dining Services, will work with the student, as well as the roommate(s) (if applicable) to remain in their assigned residence hall room for the duration of their quarantine or isolation period. To obtain meals during quarantine and isolation, students will be able to call their respective dining center and will be allowed to pick up meals at the cashier station in lieu of entering the dining facility. After 5 days, the student(s) will take another antigen-based test to determine if they are still positive (or have become positive). If the result is negative, they will no longer be required to isolate or quarantine, but will be required to wear a face covering for the remaining 4 days of isolation/quarantine. If the test is positive, they will remain in isolation/quarantine for the remaining 4 days. After 10 days of isolation/quarantine, no further testing is required.
Students Residing Off-Campus:
  • Step 1: Stay in your room and perform a home test kit (if available) or contact Beu Health Center (309) 298-1888 or your primary care physician for guidance regarding obtaining a COVID-19 test based on symptoms. If you are able to perform a home test kit and the result is positive, self-report by going to the COVID-19 Self Report Form.
  • Step 2: Students: If you need professors and instructors notified that your absence is COVID-19 related, please send an email to SDSC@wiu.edu and COPY ALL OF YOUR PROFESSORS asking the SDSC to confirm COVID-19 related absences. SDSC will reply all and confirm.
  • Step 3: The student, as well as the roommate(s) (if applicable), must remain in their off-campus residence for the duration of their quarantine or isolation period. After 5 days, the student(s) will take another antigen-based test to determine if they are still positive (or have become positive). If a test is needed, the individual can contact Beu Health Center at beuhealthcenter@wiu.edu or (309) 298-1888 (recommended 2-3 hours before arrival) and the test will be distributed outside of the health center in a designated pick up box. If the result is negative, they will no longer be required to isolate or quarantine, but will be required to wear a face covering for the remaining 4 days of isolation/quarantine. If the test is positive, they will remain in isolation for the remaining 4 days. After 10 days of isolation/quarantine, no further testing is required.
Employees:
  • Step 1: Stay home and perform a home test kit (if available) or contact your primary care physician for guidance regarding obtaining a COVID-19 test based on symptoms. If you are able to perform a home test kit and the result is positive, self-report by going to the COVID-19 Self Report Form.
  • Step 2: Employees: For information related to work time off, visit the HR Office's “COVID-19 Information for Employees” and notify your supervisor.
  • Step 3: The employee should remain in their off-campus residence for the duration of their quarantine or isolation period. After 5 days, the employee will take another antigen-based test to determine if they are still positive (or have become positive). If a test is needed, the individual can contact Beu Health Center at beuhealthcenter@wiu.edu  or (309) 298-1888 (recommended 2-3 hours before arrival) and the test will be distributed outside of the health center in a designated pick up box. If the result is negative, they will no longer be required to isolate or quarantine, but will be required to wear a face covering for the remaining 4 days of isolation/quarantine. If the test is positive, they will remain in isolation for the remaining 4 days. After 10 days of isolation/quarantine, no further testing is required.

Isolation Protocols