The results of your COVID-19 test do not necessarily affect your quarantine or isolation requirements. Be sure to follow the instructions you receive from university authorities.

I’m negative. What does that mean?

If you have been directed to quarantine, a negative test does not change the duration of your quarantine. Follow the instructions provided by Occupational Health and outlined on the Exposure & Illness Procedures page.

If you test negative through BJC HealthCare/WashU Med, our Occupational Health nurses will email you and your supervisor with return-to-work instructions.

A negative result suggests you do not have COVID-19 at the time of the test, but it is possible to have a negative test and still have COVID-19. A negative test also does not ensure that you will not develop symptoms or test positive the following day or in subsequent days. For this reason you MUST NOT change your adherence to all public health measures.

Failure to adhere to quarantine violates public health orders and is a violation of our commitment to the safety of this community.


I’m positive. Now what?

If you test positive from any testing source, follow the instructions below.

  1. If you test positive from a testing source outside of BJC HealthCare and WashU Med, employees must report your results by emailing Occupational Health at covidcallcenter@wustl.edu. To reduce call volume, please do not call the Hotline. Students must email Dr. Karen Winters.
  2. You will be asked to stay home, or to leave school/work immediately if you are already at school/work. Occupational Health will quickly assess your situation to determine next steps to protect you and your HIPAA rights. 
  3. Occupational Health will email you and your supervisor with a brief recap questionnaire for you to complete (with your supervisor’s help, if needed). Your completed questionnaire will allow Occupational Health to determine your return-to-work parameters.
  4. Follow the procedures outlined on the Exposure & Illness Procedures page.

    Lack of adherence to isolation requirements will be considered a violation of professionalism and the University’s code of conduct and may be referred to relevant processes in Human Resources and/or student conduct as appropriate.
  5. The Office of Student and Occupational Health Services will work closely with the St. Louis Health Department to identify and reach out directly to anyone who may have had an exposure. This work may result in quarantine of those to whom you have been exposed and this result will also be sent to your local Department of Health.

Related information


Communications and confidentiality

The Office of Student and Occupational Health Services (as delegated by the Department of Health) is responsible for all communications regarding a COVID-19-positive person on campus. Monitoring software called FairWarning also is in place to ensure appropriate access to COVID testing results and treatment. As with any other personal health information, confidentiality is required regarding individuals’ testing status.


Guidance for supervisors and others

Announcement from Dean Perlmutter »