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Exposure

Last Updated: February 4, 2022

On this page, you will find information on what to do if you have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Important

  • Faculty, staff, postdocs, and students must notify Stanford via Health Check when they:
    • Experience COVID-like symptoms
    • Are a close contact to someone who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the COVID-19 virus)
    • Are awaiting COVID-19 test results, due to exposure or symptoms
    • Test positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the COVID-19 virus)

Note: This is required when on campus within the previous two weeks or if expected to be on campus.

Exposure

Faculty, staff, postdocs, and students are required to notify Stanford, via Health Check, if exposed to someone who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the COVID-19 virus). This requirement is in place for those who were on campus within the previous two weeks or are expected to be on campus.

The CDC defines a close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of an individual who tested positive for COVID, masked or unmasked, during their infectivity period, for 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period.  Please review the categories below to assess the recommended steps to follow post-exposure.

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Household Exposure

A household exposure is when someone you live with (i.e., a roommate, significant other/intimate partner) tests positive for COVID. Household exposure may have additional requirements for quarantine and testing. A household exposure is automatically considered to be a high-risk close contact.

Those with high-risk exposures will need to quarantine, given the unmasked nature and intensity of the exposure.

For Students:

Household exposure quarantine and testing requirements

Undergraduate and graduate students should read the guidance found here, and reach out to Vaden Health Center for any additional support.

For faculty, staff, and postdocs: 

Household exposure quarantine and testing requirements

Faculty, staff, and postdocs must follow any onsite access restrictions from Health Check and remain offsite until meeting ALL of the conditions below:

  1. Receive a negative Color/PCR test at least 5 days after your last infectious contact with the positive individual. 
  2. Have no symptoms.

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Unmasked close contact

Unmasked close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of a positive individual that was either prolonged (more than 15 minutes, can be cumulative over time) or shorter-term, consisting of high-intensity, direct face-to-face contact. Examples of high-risk close contact include eating together indoors or riding together in a car.

For students:

Unmasked close contact quarantine and testing requirements

Undergraduate and graduate students should read the guidance found here, and reach out to Vaden Health Center for any additional support.

For faculty, staff, and postdocs: 

Unmasked close contact quarantine and testing requirements

Faculty, staff, and postdocs who have had COVID within 60 days of the masked close contact may continue to work onsite, regardless of vaccination status.
Faculty, staff, and postdocs who have NOT had COVID within 60 days must follow any onsite access restrictions from Health Check and remain offsite until meeting ALL of the conditions below:

  1. Receive a negative Covid test. Day 4 if PCR/Color test OR Day 5 rapid antigen test
  2. If you develop symptoms, return to work only after obtaining a negative test and following symptom improvement.

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Masked close contact

Masked close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of a positive case, for more than 15 minutes, including the day before they got sick, while wearing a face covering or face mask (except for an N95).

For Students: 

Masked close contact quarantine and testing requirements

Undergraduate and graduate students should refer to this webpage for guidance. 

For faculty, staff, and postdocs: 

Masked close contact quarantine and testing requirements

Faculty, staff, and postdoc swho have had COVID within 90 days of the masked close contact may continue to work onsite, regardless of vaccination status.

Fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and postdocs may continue to work onsite if they are asymptomatic and do not meet the criteria under ‘higher-risk close contact.’ Requirements include: 

  1. Submit a COVID test 4 days after your last infectious contact, and again at day 5 or later. 
  2. If you develop symptoms, return to work only after obtaining a negative test and following symptom improvement.

NON-Fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and postdocs must follow any onsite access restrictions from Health Check and remain offsite until meeting ALL of the conditions below:

  1. Receive a negative COVID test 
    • If unvaccinated, at least 5 days after your last infectious contact with the positive individual.
    • If booster-eligible but not boosted, at least 4 days after your last infectious contact with the positive individual.
  2. Have no symptoms.
  3. Per Cal/OSHA, upon return, you must keep 6 ft. distance from others through 14 days after the exposure, unless you were wearing an N95 mask at time of exposure. Promptly inform your supervisor of your temporary physical distancing requirement.

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Contact not meeting the ‘close-contact’ definition

This general category includes brief interactions with a positive case, often distanced, such as being in the same room, or speaking briefly with, such as within 6 for less than 15 minutes. There are no restrictions imposed in this situation, but COVID testing 3 days after this interaction is an option, depending on level of concern.

Additional Information

COVID Testing

For information about Stanford’s COVID-19 surveillance testing programs, refer to these webpages:

Covid Symptoms

For information on what to do if you are experiencing any symptoms, please review this guidance posted on HealthAlerts.

Testing Positive For Covid

For information on what to do if you test POSITIVE for COVID, please review this guidance posted on HealthAlerts.

Stanford University Medical Support Team (For Faculty, staff, and postdocs)

Please note that both Health Check and the linked pages above should provide the most rapidly accessible guidance on COVID-related inquiries.  

For specific questions on your situation, you can also submit a Health Check Help Ticket or contact the Stanford University Occupational Health Center.

Stanford University Medical Support Team (For Students)

Please review the Vaden Health Center and Student Affairs websites for information on student support during the COVID-19 outbreak.