/ Campus Health

Returning After Isolation or Quarantine

Hope College uses a symptom-based and time-based strategy, not a test-based strategy, to determine a return date for individuals diagnosed with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. This strategy takes into account the time since the onset or the diagnosis of the illness and the time since recovery as well as the presence or absence of symptoms.

In all cases, individuals with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 must follow the guidance of their healthcare provider and local health department. The decision to end isolation or quarantine and return to campus should be made in consultation with one’s healthcare provider and/or health department and must follow Hope’s requirements. (Some people, for example those with conditions that weaken their immune system, might continue to shed virus even after they recover.) The college will also consider local circumstances when approving an individual’s return to campus.

The difference between quarantine and isolation

Isolation is what you do if you have COVID-19 symptoms, or have tested positive for COVID-19. Isolation means you stay home and away from others (including household members) for the recommended period of time to avoid spreading illness.

Quarantine is what you do if you have been exposed to COVID-19. Quarantine means you stay home and away from others for the recommended period of time in case you are infected and are contagious. Quarantine becomes isolation if you later test positive for COVID-19 or develop COVID-19 symptoms.

WHEN WILL I GET CLEARANCE TO END ISOLATION? 

If you received a diagnosis of COVID-19, you can return to campus after these things have happened:

  • You have been fever-free for 24 hours (one day) without taking fever-reducing medication AND
  • All other symptoms have improved (for example, symptoms of cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
  • At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared and/or since your positive test was administered AND
  • You receive a letter from the health department confirming the end of your isolation period (students, please share this letter with the Hope College Health Center as soon as you receive it) AND
  • For employees only, you notify Human Resources and your supervisor of your return plans and receive approval from both.

IMPORTANT: A negative test result does not shorten the isolation period. You must complete the 10-day isolation. Employees, please note that even if you receive “release from isolation” authorization from a doctor or health official, coordination with Human Resources and your supervisor is still required prior to returning to campus.

Upon return to campus, you must follow all Hope College guidelines.

WHEN WILL I GET CLEARANCE TO END Quarantine?

If you were were exposed to COVID-19 through a “close contact,” you can return to campus after these things have happened:

  • You have quarantined for at least 14 days from the most recent possible “close contact” with a COVID-positive person AND
  • You have not experienced symptoms of COVID-19 (if you experience symptoms of COVID-19 while in quarantine, you should contact you healthcare provider or your local health department and follow guidance) AND
  • If your quarantine was ordered by the local health department, you receive a letter from the health department confirming the end of your quarantine period (students, please share this letter with the Hope College Health Center as soon as you receive it) AND
  • For employees only, you have notified Human Resources and your supervisor of your return plans and receive approval from both.

Please note: Employees, please note that even if you receive “release from quarantine” authorization from a doctor or health official, coordination with Human Resources and your supervisor is still required prior to returning to campus.

IMPORTANT: A negative test result after entering quarantine does NOT shorten the quarantine period. You must complete the entire 14-day quarantine.

Upon return to campus, you must follow all Hope College guidelines.