Guidance for Students

What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19? 

Any COVID-19 symptoms are assumed to be due to COVID-19 and are treated as such until a medical professional determines otherwise.  

If you are symptomatic or test positive, you should:  
  • Go home immediately to self-isolate   
  • Report the illness by completing this form 
  • Notify your faculty members and they will work with you to develop a list of individuals in your courses that you may have had close contact with. Faculty members will report that information to the University to begin the contact tracing process. 
  • Students in campus housing should contact their Resident Assistant. The RA will assist in coordinating support for meals and other housing related matters.
  • Contact your primary care provider via phone to determine the need for testing for COVID-19. If you do not have a primary care provider, contact University Health at (208) 282-2330 (Idaho Falls, Pocatello or Twin Falls) or Unity Health (208) 895-6729 (Meridian)
  • Follow the recommendations provided by your healthcare provider.  
  • Participate in contact tracing and follow recommendations provided by the local health department or University COVID-19 Health Committee.
  • If desired and needed, contact the Office of the Dean of Students for support and assistance at or 208.282.2794

I have tested positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms and didn’t get tested. When can I return to class and other campus activities?

(Positive or no COVID-19 Test) 
Maintain Isolation Until:
at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared 
3 days with no fever 
respiratory symptoms have markedly improved (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) 

(Positive COVID-19 Test) 
Maintain Isolation Until:
10 days have passed since the test was performed

What should I do if I believe I was exposed to COVID-19?   

Exposure means you were closer than 6 feet for more than 10 minutes to someone with known COVID-19 or someone with symptoms of COVID-19. You should consider yourself a possible primary contact and follow current CDC guidelines:

  • Quarantine yourself.

  • Contact ISU Health Center at (208) 282-2330 (Idaho Falls, Pocatello or Twin Falls) or Unity Health (208) 895-6729 (Meridian) or contact your primary care provider via phone to determine if you should be tested.

  • Stay home until 14 days after last exposure and maintain social distance (at least 6 feet) from all others during that time.

  • If you are a student living in University Housing, please contact your Resident Assistant.

  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop and refer to "What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19?"

What if I had close contact with person A who had close contact with person B who has COVID-19?

Person A is a primary contact. You are considered a secondary contact. Secondary contacts may continue usual activities with strict adherence to basic COVID-19 prevention measures including always wearing face coverings, physical distancing, and hand washing. Secondary contacts should closely monitor for any symptoms. If Person A develops symptoms, you are now a primary contact and you need to quarantine. If you develop any symptoms of COVID-19 you should immediately self-isolate and seek medical care.

Example: Sally attended an outdoor barbeque on Friday with Fred. Sally spent 20 minutes standing next to Fred helping him with dishes after the barbeque (i.e. close contact with Fred). Fred learned on Saturday that his friend Mary has COVID-19. Fred had close contact with Mary on Thursday. Sally had no contact with Mary at any time. Fred is a primary contact and needs to quarantine for 14 days. Sally is a secondary contact and needs to monitor for symptoms and wait to learn if Fred develops symptoms or tests positive. She may continue usual activities with strict adherence to COVID-19 prevention measures. If Fred develops symptoms within 72 hours of the barbeque, Sally should quarantine and follow guidelines because she is now a primary contact.  

What should I do if a member of my household was exposed to someone who has COVID-19?

If a member of your household had close contact with a known COVID-19 patient, that person should quarantine at home for 14 days and avoid contact with the rest of the household as much as possible. Wear a face covering and avoid the use of shared utensils and household items. If possible, use a separate bathroom; if not, ensure bathrooms are wiped down and sanitized. If this person tests positive or develops symptoms, you must follow the guidance provided under “What should I do if I was exposed to someone with COVID-19?”

Where on campus do I have to wear a face covering? 

Face coverings should be worn in all shared or public spaces such as common work areas, hallways, meeting rooms, classrooms, research labs, when meeting with someone in a private office, etc. Face coverings should also be used outdoors when in the presence of other individuals. For students living in University Housing, face coverings should be worn whenever you leave your room or apartment. This includes common spaces such as lounges, elevators, and dining halls. Wearing face coverings is part of our shared duty to keep campus as safe as possible.