Quarantine and Isolation


Anyone who tests positive for, has symptoms of, or is exposed to COVID-19 is recommended to stay home in either quarantine or isolation. Several plans are in place to support quarantined or isolated students.

The Grand Valley CARE team has compiled a broad collection of resources for students affected by COVID-19. Students who have concerns about their own or another student's resource needs should file a CARE report.

More information and details on the various resources and support available to the campus community can be found in the questions below. If you have questions about isolation and quarantine, contact your healthcare provider, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health: 616-396-5266 or [email protected] or the Kent County Health Department at 888-535-6136.

Current Guidance

Please consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced changes to its guidance for colleges and universities.

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Key Terms

COVID-19 is short for Coronavirus Disease 2019.

Close contacts: a close contact is someone who was exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 and was within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period, regardless of whether the exposed person was wearing a mask.

Isolation is when someone who tested positive with COVID-19 is separated from others. This means having a separate bedroom and bathroom, and staying in place. This is done to prevent or limit the transmission of the virus. You must complete isolation regardless of your vaccination status or whether you have symptoms. You must isolate according to CDC guidelines found using the Isolation Calculator.

Quarantine is when someone has been exposed to COVID-19 and is separated from others and limits interactions. This means staying home and away from others as much as possible to prevent or limit the transmission of the virus. A person is required to quarantine when they are not up-to-date and have had unmasked contact within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more (over 24 hours) with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. You may be notified by the positive person. You must quarantine according to CDC guidelines using this Quarantine calculator

Release is the formal discontinuation of isolation or quarantine. You may be released from isolation when you have completed your isolation period AND your symptoms have improved (or you have none). You may be released from quarantine when your quarantine period is completed and you have no symptoms.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include but are not limited to: Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea. 

Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT): COVID-19 tests that detect the presence of specific nucleic acid materials (e.g., RNA) in the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This test is typically used as a confirmatory testing method due to its higher sensitivity levels compared to an antigen test. These tests can be positive for up to three months after the initial infection.   

Antigen Test: COVID-19 tests that detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus by looking for structural components of the virus itself. Depending on the levels of COVID-19 in the community, the accuracy of this type of test can vary but usually indicates whether the case is infective or not.  

Fully Vaccinated:  A person is “fully vaccinated” when they have received all doses of the primary series of vaccines. 

Up-To-Date: A person is “up to date” with their COVID-19 vaccinations when they have received all primary doses and all boosters that are recommended. A person may also be up to date with their vaccinations if they have completed the primary series but are not yet due for a booster; have received one booster and are not yet due for a second booster; or have received one booster and are not recommended to get a second booster by a health care provider. 

Commonly Asked Questions

  • Both quarantine and isolation mean that you will remain separated from others for a period of time, either in your own room, if conditions permit (the general rule is if you have your own room and your own bathroom), in your permanent residence, or in a reserved room on campus.  
  • Isolation is required for someone who has received a positive COVID-19 test and separates sick people from those who are not sick. They must not have contact with others, and they will receive support until the infection resolves.
  • Quarantine is required for someone who is known to have been in close contact with an infected person or has symptoms of COVID-19 and is waiting for a test result. It separates those who were exposed to a contagious disease from others while they see if they become sick. They must stay away from others and avoid others. 

Additional information for Residential Students can be found here: Article - COVID-19 Information (gvsu.edu)

Students who live on campus should be in regular contact with your Resident Assistant or Living Center Director.

Up-to-date means you meet one of the following criteria:

  • Fully vaccinated and received booster when eligible
  • Fully vaccinated and not eligible for a booster (less than 2 months after JJ vaccine, less than 5 months after Pfizer or Moderna vaccine).
  • Confirmed COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days

People who are not up-to-date include those who are not vaccinated for COVID-19 and those who are fully vaccinated but haven’t received a booster (when eligible).

Page last modified February 16, 2023