Let’s start with a definition. Self-quarantine means staying home if you think you were exposed to prevent further potential spread of the virus. People asked to self-quarantine may or may not show symptoms, which means it is even more important for them to stay home and follow self-quarantine guidelines.
We know that can be a scary thought (and potentially boring), so we have provided information here about how to self-quarantine effectively to keep yourself and those around you healthy.
What to do in Self-Quarantine
- Remain at home for the 14-day period, staying at least six feet away from others.
- Wear a mask when around others.
- Avoid public transportation and crowds.
- Only leave your home for essential errands such as medical care or getting food. Opt for curbside pickup or delivery when available.
- Connect with friends and family virtually, instead of meeting in person.
- Find ways to exercise on your own. Check out UREC's virtual fitness opportunities.
- When you need a break, spend time outdoors and away from others.
- Take care of your mental health.
Taking Care of your Mental Health
We care about the mental health challenges you’re facing, and we’re ready to provide support when you need it most. During self-quarantine, you may feel:
- Anger or resentment
- Loneliness or isolation
- Boredom and frustration
- Sadness and depression
- Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) | 509-335-4511
For after-hours crisis support call 509-335-2159. Many services can be provided via telemental health. Services include individual and group therapy, biofeedback and psychological assessments.
How to Safely Hang Out with a Friend
While it’s recommended to stay away from others, you can reduce the risk of an in-person visit by following these measures:
- Maintain physical distancing of six feet.
- Wear a mask, especially inside.
- Reduce contact with shared objects or spaces.
- Plan to be outside, if possible.
- Keep interactions brief.
- Wash hands often.
Prepare a “Go Bag”
Just in case you need to self-quarantine, or if you actually get sick and need to isolate, it’s good to have the following items pre-packed and readily available:
- Clothes and pajamas for 2-3 days
- List of important people’s phone numbers
- Digital thermometer: for monitoring your symptoms
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfectant wipes
- Water bottle
- Two re-usable cloth masks
- Cell phone charger
- List of allergies
- Things you keep you occupied like books or a deck of cards
Know the Symptoms:
Common symptoms* of COVID-19 include:
- Fever (defined as >100.4 ⁰F)
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
- New loss of taste or smell
- Congestion or runny nose
*This is not an exhaustive list. See the full CDC symptoms list for more guidance.
Daily self-monitoring includes taking your temperature. If you develop symptoms or require medical attention, please contact your medical provider or Cougar Health Services.
Cougar Health Services – Call first for all appointments: 509-335-3575. For emergencies: Call 911 or Pullman Regional Hospital at 509-332-2541.
- Cougar Health Services can be reached by phone at 509-335-3575 and encompasses a variety of student-centered health services including Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Promotion, the Medical Clinic, on-campus pharmacy, and Vision Clinic.
- Counseling and Psychological Services, reception can be reached at: 509-335-4511
- Medical Services appointments can be made through the WSU Patient Portal.
- For non-WSU affiliated residents, a list of private practice and community health providers can be found on the CHS Referral Guide.
- The Student Care Network outlines the following resources:
- Food Assistance, including food delivery options and food pantries.
- Financial Assistance
- Local and National Resources related to COVID-19
- And information about quarantine, isolation and contact tracing.
- University Recreation has remote fitness classes, intramurals, education clinics and webinars.
- Student Involvement hosts virtual events, speakers and conferences you can access remotely.
- The Academic Success and Career Center continues to provide virtual academic and career services for current WSU students and alumni.
- For graduate and post-graduate students, please keep in contact with your specific academic program about academic assistance opportunities and resources.
What's the difference between self-quarantine and self-isolation?
Self-quarantine means staying home if you think your were exposed to someone with COVID-19. Self-isolation separates those known to be infected, or showing severe symptoms of COVID-19, from those who are not infected. Both of these practices follow similar guidelines like distancing from others, maintaining proper hygiene and self-monitoring.
How long does self-quarantine last?
If you are a close contact (within 6 feet of somebody with COVID-19, for a cumulative total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period), then you should quarantine for 14 days from your last interaction. If you're able and want to take a COVID-19 test, wait at least 5 days from this interaction before testing. However, a negative test doesn’t reduce the 14-day quarantine timeline. Individuals experiencing hardship may ask EH&S to reduce the quarantine timeline, and it will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Who is self-quarantine for?
Self-quarantine is used for students who may have come into contact with COVID-19 or have recently visited a medium-high or high-risk area, as defined with the Harvard Global Health Institute COVID Risk Levels dashboard. Self-quarantine is still necessary even if you are not feeling symptoms of COVID-19.
If I am asked to self-quarantine, does that mean I have COVID-19?
No, self-quarantine is a precaution used merely to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others.
How will I know if I have to self-quarantine?
Where do I self-quarantine?
Whether living on campus or off, you will self-quarantine at home for the 14-day duration. Like you, other household members should only leave when absolutely necessary (e.g. grocery store, medical appointments). If you are self-quarantining with someone and you choose to be in close contact, a positive test by one of you will cause the other’s self-quarantine clock to start over at 14 days.
How will I be supported?
On-campus residents will be supported by WSU Environmental Health & Safety, which will provide essential services like meal delivery, laundry service and more.
Off-campus residents should contact their local and regional health authority for guidance on available resources and how to self-quarantine effectively.
Can I go outside?
You may go outside for fresh air or a walk. Please carry a mask with you and use it if there is a chance you will be within six feet of someone else. Try to limit outings and keep them brief.
When should I seek medical attention?
Severe symptoms can result from COVID-19 like trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest or new confusion. If experiencing these or other serious signs and you can safely transport yourself to the ER, call ahead so they can prepare to isolate you when you arrive. If you cannot transport yourself, call 911 immediately.