Quarantine and Isolation

The University has been working closely with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) since this pandemic began. We have quarantine and isolation plans and processes in place to help maximize safety and minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Quarantine helps prevent the spread of disease by separating and restricting the movement of people who were exposed to COVID-19. It is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others to reduce the potential risk of transmission.

Isolation is used when someone has actually tested positive for COVID-19. It is used to keep someone known to be contagious with COVID-19 away from others.

Contact tracing

In the event of exposure or testing positive for COVID-19, students, faculty and staff will typically be contacted within 24-48 hours by CUPHD (using a phone number that begins with 217-531-XXXX.) Follow-up contact tracing calls will come from 312-777-1999. The university recommends adding 312-777-1999 as a contact in your phone. You may also receive a text message from the university. You must respond immediately.

Isolation or quarantine as directed by CUPHD is mandatory. If you do not follow this guidance, you will be in violation of state law. Students, faculty and staff who fail to comply with these public health directives could be subject to disciplinary action. Students can face immediate suspension for isolation non-compliance.

Exposure notification

The Safer Illinois app provides exposure notification. Exposure notification lets people know if they were in the vicinity of someone who was later found to test positive with COVID-19. You can enable Safer Illinois app to anonymously notify you of possible COVID-19 exposures

For more information about how the exposure notification feature works in the app, please consult detailed support information from Technology Services.

Note: The Safer Illinois app does not record your location. This exposure notification does not replace the in-person contact tracing being done by the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.

Quarantine

When to quarantine

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign requires students, faculty and staff to quarantine in specific situations:

Close contact with a positive case

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) determines when an individual has come into close contact/exposure with a positive case. They will place the close contact into quarantine. If you do NOT hear from CUPHD, you can assume you were not exposed.

Guidance for quarantine

Students, faculty and staff who Champaign Urbana Public Health Department determine to have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, will be placed in quarantine for a mandatory 14-day period. Individuals placed in quarantine must stay for the full 14 days, as it can take this long for the virus to cause symptoms. There is no way to “test out” or shorten quarantine.

Students

If you are required to quarantine, CUPHD will coordinate with you to quarantine for 14 days. If you would like to go to your permanent residence to quarantine, CUPHD will determine whether it is safe for you to do so.

University Housing Residence Halls and Apartments

Students contracted with University Housing, click here to view isolation and quarantine procedures.

Private Certified Housing

Students contracted with a Private Certified Housing unit, please contact your individual Private Certified Housing unit directly for more information on their isolation and quarantine procedures.

Faculty & staff

Faculty and staff who are required to quarantine and who can work remotely are expected to continue to work since they are not ill, just potentially exposed to the virus. Faculty and staff who are required to quarantine must do the following:

  • Call the IHR COVID-19 Self-Reporting line at 217-300-9005 to notify the university that you are required to quarantine and when your quarantine period ends. You must also notify your supervisor that you are required to remain in quarantine and when your quarantine period ends. Additionally, discuss with your supervisor how you can receive any needed equipment to facilitate remote work. Delivery of this must happen in a way in which there is no contact with you.
  • Be compliant with quarantine restrictions to stay at home. Do not come to campus. Do not go out in the community unless seeking medical treatment. Have groceries or food delivered to your home in a manner that avoids contact with the delivery person.
  • Monitor your health daily and consult with your medical provider if you develop symptoms.
  • Continue to work remotely, if your job duties allow. Keep your supervisor informed about work assignments and other routine matters.
  • If you should become ill prior to the end of your quarantine period, you should also inform your supervisor of that change. If you are too ill to work remotely (if your duties allow for remote work), you will then need to utilize your available sick leave benefits.

What to do in quarantine

When in quarantine, you must restrict activities and limit all movements that may put you in contact with others during the quarantine period. Individuals who need to quarantine should adhere to the following guidance from public health officials:

Stay home

Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19, after receiving guidance from CUPHD.

Students, faculty and staff are to test on day five of their quarantine period. We are testing individuals in quarantine on day five to try to catch anyone who becomes positive, so we can start the isolation process and contact tracing earlier. Please note that you CANNOT test out of quarantine. Even if you receive a negative result on day five, you still must complete the 14 day quarantine period.

Individuals in isolation are NOT to test during isolation. Testing can resume only when the individual has been cleared from isolation by CUPHD. Students can also access medical services and should contact McKinley Health Center (217-333-2700) for details.

Do not go to work, school or public areas. Do not use public transportation, ride shares or taxis.

Monitor your health and symptoms

Monitor your body temperature and record the results and time taken.

IMMEDIATELY seek medical attention if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever over 100.4 F
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Separate yourself

If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19. Do not allow visitors into your home.

Stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. It is very important to stay away from people who are at higher risk of serious illness. This includes people who are age 65 years and older, pregnant or have a health problem such as diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic disease or a weak immune system. Consider different living arrangements for these high-risk people if possible.

Use a separate bathroom. If not possible, clean after use.

Wear a cloth face covering if you must go around others in the home. Try to stay at least six feet away from others, and avoid caring for children if possible.

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. 

Regularly clean and disinfect

Clean and disinfect all “high-touch” surfaces every day. High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tables, and bedside tables. Also, clean and disinfect any surfaces that may have body fluids on them. Follow label instructions for household cleaning and disinfectant sprays or wipes used to ensure effectiveness.

Do not share household items

Do not prepare or serve food to others.

Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.

After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water. 

Wear a face covering

Do not go out in public unless there is an emergency or you are seeking medical care. If you have to leave, wear a face covering. 

Cover coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can.

Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Food/groceries

University Housing Residence Halls and Apartments

Students contracted with University Housing, who opt to isolate or quarantine in the residence halls, and have an active meal plan, will have daily meals delivered, taking into consideration dietary needs and restrictions.

Students with a University Housing apartment lease are responsible for their own groceries and meals.

Private Certified Housing

Students contracted with a Private Certified Housing unit should contact their individual Private Certified Housing unit directly for more information on their isolation and quarantine meal procedures.

Apartments or Houses not part of University Housing

There are a number of local services that offer food or grocery delivery. Please note for the driver to leave the food outside of your door.


Isolation

When to isolate

When an individual tests positive for COVID-19, they will be required to isolate. Individuals must remain in isolation for a minimum of 10 days from the date they either tested positive or started to experience symptoms. They will be released from isolation by CUPHD.

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District contacts individuals (using phone number 312-777-1999) to provide specific isolation guidance and to collect information for contact tracing. For more information on testing positive, view the Testing Positive page.

Guidance for isolation

Students

If you test positive, please go to your local place of residence (residence hall room, apartment, etc.) and self-isolate, limiting your contact with others immediately. When CUPHD contacts you, they will coordinate with you and university staff to find a place where you will isolate. If you would like to go to your permanent residence to isolate, you will work with CUPHD to determine whether it is safe for you to do so.

You will typically be contacted within 24-48 hours by CUPHD (using phone number 217-531-XXX). Follow-up contact tracing calls will come from 312-777-1999. The university recommends adding 312-777-1999 as a contact in your phone. You may also receive a text message from the university. You must respond immediately.

You should not leave your residence/isolation location after receiving a positive test result until you are notified you can do so by CUPHD or University personnel.

Students contracted with University Housing, click here to view isolation and quarantine procedures.

Faculty & staff

If you test positive, please go to your place of residence and self-isolate, limiting your contact with others immediately. Isolation as directed by CUPHD is mandatory for employees. If you choose not to follow this guidance, you could be subject to discipline through Illinois Human Resources.

If you test positive, you will be provided information about isolation. You should not leave your home/isolation location after receiving a positive test result until you are cleared by CUPHD.

What to do in isolation

Monitor your symptoms

Seek medical attention if your illness is worsening. Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Put on a face covering before you enter the facility. These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed.

If you experience any of the following warning signs, seek immediate medical care:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

If you need immediate medical attention

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or may have COVID-19. Please put on a face covering before emergency medical services arrive.

Manage your symptoms

Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. You can take over-the-counter medicines such as acetaminophen to help you feel better.

Stay home except to get medical care

You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home

People: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. Additional guidance for persons who are helping to take care of you at home is available.

Animals: Do not handle pets or other animals while sick or if you have tested positive for COVID-19. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor

If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Wear a face covering and social distance

You should wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth if you are not able to physically separate yourself from other people and pets. Stay at least six feet away from others as much as possible.

Clean your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.

Avoid sharing personal household items

You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day

High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product. See Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations for more information.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who will coordinate contact tracing efforts for students, faculty and staff in Champaign County?

The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District coordinates contact tracing efforts within Champaign County. All students, faculty and staff who are contacted by CUPHD are expected to cooperate with their efforts. For contact tracing, CUPHD will contact individuals by phone from their official number, 312-777-1999.

I received an exposure notification from the Safer Illinois app. Do I need to self-quarantine?

Yes, individuals who receive an exposure notification should self-quarantine. A person can remove themselves from exposure notification quarantine as soon as they have a negative test result on or after the fourth day after exposure with the day of exposure counted as day zero. Please note that self-quarantine guidelines are different from when someone has been officially placed in quarantine by CUPHD. Individuals officially placed in quarantine by CUPHD CANNOT test out of quarantine.

I traveled away from campus. Do I need to self-quarantine?

Under the guidance of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD), the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has new recommendations for individuals who travel, including those returning to campus or initial arrival on campus. These stay at home after travel guidelines apply to both international travel from a CDC-designated level 3 country and travel from a U.S. location that is considered higher risk than Illinois by the Illinois Department of Public Health. View the Travel page for more information.

I am a student who has been placed under quarantine or isolation. How do I get food and other necessities?

Students contracted with University Housing, who opt to isolate or quarantine in the residence halls, and have an active meal plan, will have daily meals delivered, taking into consideration dietary needs and restrictions.

Students with a University Housing apartment lease are responsible for their own groceries and meals.

Students contracted with a Private Certified Housing unit should contact their individual Private Certified Housing unit directly for more information on their isolation and quarantine meal procedures.

For those who live off campus, there are a number of local services that offer food or grocery delivery. Please note for the driver to leave the food outside of your door.

I have been unable to go to my in-person classes for a few weeks because I have been in quarantine. How do I get my building access restored so I can return to my courses?

Your first step is to receive clearance from the Champaign Urbana Public Health District to leave quarantine. Once you receive clearance, please take an on-campus COVID-19 test and receive a negative test result. This should reset your building access within the Safer Illinois app. If your app status does not change with a negative result, please contact Technology Services at (217) 244-7000 or email consult@illinois.edu.

Do I have to quarantine if I fly through O’Hare International Airport?

The university does not have any quarantine requirements for individuals traveling here from within the United States. If the state or federal government establishes any new quarantine requirements for domestic travelers that information will be updated on this website. According to the Chicago order FAQ found online: “The Order does not apply to individuals changing planes at a Chicago airport, changing trains at a Chicago station, or traveling directly to a suburban municipality or otherwise out of the city limits. However, all individuals are expected to follow the latest public health guidance for Chicago while in the city, including in the airport terminals and railroad stations. This includes the mandate that individuals over the age of 2 wear masks or face coverings at all times.”

How are work and pay handled during the quarantine period?

Faculty and staff who are required to quarantine and who can work remotely are expected to continue to work since they are not ill, just potentially exposed to the virus. 

Units should consider whether there is online training or other work employees can complete for those whose regular work duties cannot be performed remotely. 

Who is the lead health authority when it comes to returning to campus?

You may have sought health advice from your physician, local public health agency, or another health resource but as you prepare to return to campus the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District is the lead public health for our community.

Learn more about returning to campus after quarantine and isolation.


Additional Resources


Quarantine updates