What To Do If You Have Symptoms of or Test Positive for COVID-19

Based on the COVID policy below, if you need to be absent due to onset of symptoms or a positive COVID test, please see the College of Medicine Absence Policy for Medical Students and complete the absence forms located in Brightspace (preclerkship students) or in MedHub (clinical students).

  1. All students must self-monitor daily to identify symptoms.
  2. If you have COVID SYMPTOMS (with or without exposure /regardless of vaccination or booster status)
  • The most common symptoms of Covid-19 are headache, cough, sinus congestion, body aches, sore throat, chills, and fever. Other symptoms may include runny nose, shortness of breath, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, or sudden loss of taste or smell.
  • If you experience any of these symptoms, you must quarantine and be tested for COVID-19 (Use an at-home test or get tested at a testing location.) If you are tested at MUSC, you are instructed to identify yourself as a “healthcare employee” to receive your results most quickly.
  • If you are at home, stay home. If you are at work/school, leave immediately. Notify Student Affairs and follow the absence policy.
  • If you test negative for COVID-19, you may return to school if your fever is resolved for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication AND non-fever symptoms are minimal or improving.
  1. If you are EXPOSED but have NO SYMPTOMS:
  • No quarantine required, but you must wear a mask at all times while around others for 10 days post-exposure. If you develop SYMPTOMS, see the section above.
  1. If you TEST POSITIVE for COVID-19:
  • All individuals who test positive are required to self-report to allow for prompt contact tracing. Self-reporting not only stops the spread of COVID-19 but allows MUSC to share supportive services with you. Further, know that your privacy is important and MUSC will only share what is minimally necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19. Self-report using the MUSC Contact Tracing Report form.
  • You must quarantine. If you are at home, stay home. If you are at work/school, leave immediately. Notify Student Affairs and follow the College of Medicine Absence Policy for Medical Students. Clinical Students, please reach out directly to Student Affairs and your Clinical Rotation Coordinator and/or Director.
  1. RETURNING after you TEST POSITIVE for COVID-19:
  • You may Return to EDUCATION SETTINGS on Day 6 (after isolating for five full days) if you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications) and other symptoms have improved. You must continue to wear a mask for 5 additional days.
    • If you are asymptomatic, Day 0 is the day you received a positive test result. Day 1 is the next day.
    • If you have symptoms, Day 0 is your first day of symptoms. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed.
    • Temperature check:  Wait 30 minutes after eating, drinking, bathing, or exercising before taking your temperature. These activities can transiently elevate your temperature. Wait 6 hours after taking medicines that can lower your temperature, such as: Tylenol (acetaminophen), aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
  • You may Return to DIRECT PATIENT CARE SETTINGS on Day 8 with a negative COVID test (after isolating for 7 days), or on Day 11 without a negative COVID test (after isolating for 10 days). In either case, you must be fever-free for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications) and other symptoms have improved.
  • In all cases above, you must continue to wear a mask at all times around others for five additional days. To minimize the risk of infecting others who are at risk (e.g., older adults and individuals who are immunocompromised), avoid interacting with them until after at least 10 days.
  • All Students: Note that you should return to education activities (e.g., lectures, workshops, small groups, simulation lab, even if they include 'standardized' patients) on Day 6 after isolating for 5 days, if all other conditions (above) are met, AND you should return to direct patient care (e.g., PARTNERs visits, Hospital Teaching Rounds, Clerkship Rounds, Clinics, CARES clinic) by Day 6 and wear a mask until Day 10.

Student Support and Contact Information

MUSC Student Health Services:  843-792-3664 

Students should call Student Health Services for any health concerns or questions they have. Please leave a voicemail with your name and call back number. Staff will return your call on the same day during normal operating clinic hours (Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM). Calls left outside of normal operating clinic hours will be returned the following business day. For serious health concerns, seek emergency medical care immediately. 

COM Student Affairs:  Students should contact Student Affairs for any questions about absences and available resources.

Charleston Campus: 843-792-2530

AnMed Clinical Campus: Dr. Renee Monaghan

AnMed Employee Health- Main Campus 864-512-1306

AnMed Employee Health- North Campus 864-512-4813