Isolation Guidance

Isolation Guidance:

  • If you test positive, you must isolate for at least 5 days following Massachusetts Department of Public Health isolation guidelines.
  • Your isolation timeline begins the first day of your symptoms or your positive test date if you do not have symptoms. 
    • Day 0 – First day of symptoms OR the day you test positive. (if you do not have symptoms).
    • Day 5 – Last day of isolation if your symptoms have improved, and you are fever free.
    • Day 6 – Your isolation is over if your symptoms have improved, and you are fever free.
    • Example: If your positive test was taken on 7/1/2022, your last day in isolation would be 7/6/2022 and you could leave isolation/return to work on 7/7/2022. 
  • You must continue to wear a mask around others for an additional 5 days. You may remove your mask prior to day 10 if you have had two negative tests taken 48 hours apart.
  • After you have ended isolation, if your COVID-19 symptoms return or worsen, restart your isolation at day 0.
  • If you continue to have significant or worsening symptoms after 5 days, please stay home, contact your PCP, and notify your supervisor. 

If you have questions regarding your isolation timeline, please call the Occupational Health Center at 617-353-6630. 

For non-healthcare providers: Testing during isolation is not required or recommended for non-healthcare providers. If you do test on day 5 and are positive, you must continue to isolate. You can resume normal activities while wearing a mask when you test negative between days 6-9 OR isolate for the full 10 days without retesting. You may remove your mask prior to day 11, if you have two negative tests taken 48 hours apart.

We ask that you inform your close contacts that they were exposed to COVID-19. The testing guidance linked: here and careful symptom monitoring are recommended for all close contacts. 

You must inform your supervisor or manager as soon as possible that you are unable to come into work. We understand the stress this situation may be causing you. Our team, and others across campus, are here to support you.  

Note: If you have tested positive for COVID-19 you should not have a PCR test within 90 days of your positive test.

More up-to-date isolation and exposure guidance from Massachusetts Department of Public Health for the general public is available HERE.

Healthcare Providers – Please Note:

If you are a fully vaccinated healthcare provider and regularly provide in-person patient care, you may return to work:  

  • after 5 days have passed since the first positive COVID-19 viral test was taken; AND 
  • symptoms have substantially improved, including being fever-free, for 24 hours; AND
  • you have received a negative viral test (antigen or molecular) on Day 5 or later. 

If you are a HCP at a facility outside of BU, please check with your facility for return-to-work guidelines. For more information, please visit: