What to Do if You Have Been Exposed to COVID-19

The CDC and other federal and state entities recommend different quarantine-related guidelines following exposure to COVID-19 for health care personnel and essential personnel versus others.

If you are an MUSC Care Team Member, a student on clinical rotation or other learning experience in MUSC Health, or other essential personnel at MUSC Health, follow the guidelines for MUSC Health (netID required).

All other university members (staff, students, and faculty) should follow the below guidelines.

Exposed but no symptoms: 

  • No quarantine required, but you must wear a mask around others at all times (off-campus and on-campus) for 10 days post-exposure. 
  • You do not need to be tested for COVID-19, but you are eligible for testing if desired. DHEC guidance suggests testing of asymptomatic individuals should be done not before 5 days following the first date of exposure. A negative test does not mean new symptoms can be ignored. If your test is pending, you may continue to attend work/school, but you must wear a mask around others at all times for 10 days post-exposure. 

Exposed and new symptoms develop:

  • Notify your supervisor (for students, notify your program director/faculty advisor). If you are home, stay home. If you are at work/school, leave immediately.
  • Purchase an at-home test or schedule a test at participating pharmacies, your doctor’s office, or other health center near you.

If you test positive for COVID-19:

  • You must stay home and isolate for at least 5 days, even if you are asymptomatic. Day 0 is the day you received a positive test result if you are asymptomatic; if you have symptoms, day 0 is the day your symptoms onset.
  • Using the counting approach above, you can end isolation on day 5 only if you have been fever-free for 48 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms have improved. 
  • If your fever and/or significant symptoms persist past day 5, you may end isolation whenever you are fever-free and your symptoms are resolved for at least 48 hours.
  • In all cases above, you must continue to wear a mask at all times around others (off-campus and on-campus) for 5 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.

If you test negative for COVID-19, you must satisfy both conditions below before returning to work/school:

  1. Resolution of fever for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication AND
  2. Non-fever symptoms are minimal or improving.