What quarantine and isolation timelines are we following?

While CDC guidelines regarding duration of isolation and quarantine for the general public have been shortened, we await updated guidance from the American College Health Association for recommendations specific to institutions of higher education and congregate settings (including densely populated residential communities). Therefore, for faculty, staff and students:

  • Our University isolation policies are unchanged: 10 days from the date of a positive test, regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Our quarantine policies are unchanged: 
    • exempt from quarantine if asymptomatic and fully vaccinated (defined as two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson)
    • exempt from quarantine if asymptomatic and positive for COVID in the past 90 days
    • quarantine 10 days from known exposure if not fully vaccinated 
    • test if symptoms develop, and consult with Arnold Health Services (students) or your health care provider (faculty and staff)

Return to Campus - January 2022

What should I do if I can’t find a place at home to get a non-rapid PCR test?

Sites throughout the state are visible on https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/testing.html. You can see local testing options here: https://health.mcleancountyil.gov/735/COVID-19-Local-Testing-Options

They include:

  • Interstate Center at 1106 Interstate Drive in Bloomington: the testing site is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. You can pre-register at testdirectly.com/McLean. The process is very quick and efficient but results have been taking about 3-4 days with the demand due to the recent surge. 
  • Heartland Community College 1500 W Raab Rd., Normal Readiness Center (NRC) 1101/1102, Normal, IL 61761. Testing is available Mondays and Tuesdays 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Wednesdays 7 a.m.- 1 p.m.; Thursdays 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Fridays 7 a.m. - 1 p.m.; Saturdays 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.

    Link to register: https://www.heartland.edu/coronavirus/testing.html
    There are other SHIELD testing locations throughout Illinois, which can be found here: https://www.heartland.edu/coronavirus/testing.html
  • We have also identified some options not on the MCHD site including an NP practice: https://www.selectcarepllc.com/ who bills for an office visit.


I’ve tested, but I won’t get results until after classes have started. What should I do? Can I return to campus if I haven’t gotten my results? What are the expectations of isolation/quarantine?

If you are driving to campus, please wait until your results are available to return to campus if possible. We want to make sure that we are limiting any possible spread of COVID-19.

If you have already arranged flights, you may return to campus, but plan to minimize extended contact with others to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19. This is not a “lock down,” but we ask that you attend classes virtually and get meals to-go.


Can I participate in Wednesday’s surveillance testing?

Students are expected to exhaust all of their local options before returning to campus. Wednesday’s surveillance testing is designed for faculty, staff, and students who need surveillance, not baseline testing. For approval to participate in on-campus testing for baseline, please contact Arnold Health Services.


Am I allowed to go to class in-person if I don’t have results back yet?

No, please do not go to class in-person or other group activities until you have a negative result from a non-rapid PCR test. Faculty have been directed to be flexible and responsive to your individual challenges and we anticipate most will provide a remote attendance option for the first two weeks.


Will I have to isolate or quarantine if I am fully vaccinated?

Regardless of vax status, students who test positive will need to isolate off campus for 10 days. Students will be directed to return home; if this is not possible, hotels may be available in the Bloomington-Normal area, but the arrangements and the cost will not be covered by the University. This is one of the reasons we urge you to not return to campus until your baseline results are known. Students who are fully vaxxed remain exempt from quarantine if they are asymptomatic, but will be advised to test after known exposure. Students who are not vaccinated must quarantine for 10 days after known exposure. 


If I have symptoms what should I do? What are the symptoms of Omicron?  

If you have any symptoms prior to your return to campus, please test for COVID-19 and return only after you’ve received a negative result. The symptoms of COVID-19 including the Delta and Omicron variants are cough, congestion, runny nose, sore throat, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and fever. If you experience these symptoms while you’re on campus, please contact AHS who will direct you to test in Bloomington and minimize your contact with others.  


Should my club/organization be meeting in-person?

Out of an abundance of caution, we recommend that non-essential activities continue virtually until January 16. For those activities that are occurring in-person, we expect mask and distancing compliance.  


Can I still work on campus while waiting for results?

It depends on the type of work. In some cases where the job involves minimal contact, yes – with masking, distancing, and avoiding extended contact with large crowds. Check with your work supervisor if in doubt. 


Do I need to submit my booster records?

Boosters are highly recommended, but not yet required for your presence on campus. We will send information about submission of documentation when we move to that phase of implementation. 


If my results are now over 72 hours old because of delayed results, do I have to re-test before returning to campus?

No – if you delay coming to campus because of pending test results, we will accept those test results if you remain asymptomatic, mask, distance, and avoid extended contact with large crowds. However, if your delay in returning to campus extends beyond several days, please consult AHS about whether re-testing is warranted. 


If all my classes are online for the next two weeks and I am staying at home, when do I submit baseline test results?

Please submit any currently pending results as soon as you receive them. If you delay in obtaining baseline testing because you will not return this week, please adhere to testing 72 hours before returning to campus and submit those results no later than 24 hours after arrival. As stated above, please use AHS as a resource to assure your healthy return to campus.


Am I exempt from quarantine if I’ve tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days?