If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have any symptoms, you may need to be tested or to quarantine/isolate, or both. Find out what you need to do.

What is an exposure?

  • In the non-clinical environment, exposure is defined as contact between two people where at least one is unmasked or incorrectly masked for a total of at least 15 minutes in one day in a proximity of less than 6 feet. 
  • In the clinical environment, you are considered exposed if you are not wearing proper PPE and spend more than 15 minutes with someone who is COVID-19-positive.

Exposure to COVID-19

Follow these instructions if you are exposed to COVID-19 either at home or at work but have no symptoms of COVID-19. We test on day 5 – 7 after exposure because this is when you are most likely to convert.

If you are fully vaccinated

Quarantine requirements for WashU Med employees who have been fully vaccinated have been relaxed based on updated guidance from the CDC.

You do not need to stay home if the following apply:

  • You are fully vaccinated (it has been 14 days since you received your second dose of a two-dose series
  • You have remained asymptomatic since exposure

However, employees must still call the COVID-19 Exposure/Illness Hotline at 314-362-5056 for guidance and follow the instructions you receive. Students must call Student Health 314-362-3523.

While the vaccine’s efficacy in preventing severe illness for those vaccinated is documented, it is not yet fully understood how well it prevents transmission of COVID-19 to others. It is still critically important to continue safety practices to protect those around you — wearing masks, practicing social distance, avoiding crowds and washing your hands.

If you are not fully vaccinated

Non-clinical personnel

  1. Notify your supervisor.
  2. Do not come to work.
  3. Employees, call the COVID-19 Exposure/Illness Hotline at 314-362-5056 for guidance and follow the instructions you receive. Students, call Student Health 314-362-3523.
  4. Quarantine for 14 days from the time of your exposure, regardless of your testing results.

Health-care personnel

  1. Notify your supervisor.
  2. Call the COVID-19 Exposure/Illness Hotline at 314-362-5056 for guidance and follow the instructions you receive.
  3. If you do not have symptoms, you may continue working if you:
    1. Wear an isolation mask while at work for 14 days after your last known exposure to COVID-19
    2. Monitor your temperature and symptoms through the RedCap system for 14 days after your last known exposure to COVID-19
    3. Have your temperature checked at a checkpoint every day before entering work
  4. Outside of work, quarantine for 14 days from the time of your exposure regardless of testing result.

Guidance for supervisors

If someone under your supervision (faculty, staff or trainee) thinks they have been exposed, please refer to FAQs for Supervisors.


If you develop symptoms

Any university faculty or staff member who develops symptoms associated with COVID-19, even mild ones, can get a COVID-19 test through Student and Occupational Health Services. This applies to employees working on campus and to employees working fully remotely. 

Follow these instructions if you develop symptoms:

  1. Do not report to work. Leave your workplace if your symptoms develop at work. 
  2. Begin isolating immediately.
  3. Notify your supervisor.
  4. Employees call the COVID-19 Exposure/Illness Hotline at 314-362- 5056 to arrange for testing, and follow the instructions you receive. Students must call Student Health 314-362-3523.
  5. If you test positive, you must isolate for 10 days from symptom onset. Learn more »

    A negative test is not required to return to campus. Find out why »

If you’re told to quarantine or isolate