Testing, Quarantine and Isolation Procedures

Testing During the Academic Year 

The College will be using high-accuracy PCR (molecular) testing for screening all students before arrival as well as for regular assessment of the health of the community over the semester. These tests are quick, relatively non-invasive nasal swabs, with results returning within 48-72 hours.

How and when will I receive my test results?

You will be notified directly by email and text message (if you signed up for this option) from the testing company when your test results are complete. Results typically take between 24-48 hours after the lab receives the sample. If you receive a notice about an error with your test please send an email to testscots@wooster.edu to sign up for a new time.

Indeterminate Tests

  • Assume to be positive
  • Student is to be isolated
  • Student will be given another PCR test and will remain in isolation until the results are returned
  • If the second test is positive, student will continue in isolation
  • If the second test is negative, the student will be released.
  • A second indeterminate positive test will be handled as a positive test

Testing Protocol for Previous COVID-19 Positive Cases

A person who tested positive or has documentation of a clinician's diagnosis of COVID-19 will not be PCR tested for 90 days after symptoms or having a positive test.

  • If a person tests off-campus, the test results must be emailed totestscots@wooster.edu.
  • If a person receives a medical diagnosis of COVID without a test, a copy of that diagnosis should be emailed to testscots@wooster.edu.

Those who have been vaccinated (14 days after final dose) will still test weekly using the PCR testing.

  • A record of the vaccination must be provided to the Wellness Center and testscots@wooster.edu.
  • Anyone who has been vaccinated should not take an antibody test.

What is the definition of a close contact?

The Wayne County Health Department conducts contact tracing to identify any individuals with whom the person may have been in close contact. The CDC defines close contact as “someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset until the time the patient is isolated,” as these are the circumstances in which the spread of illness is more likely.  If the Health Department identifies anyone within the campus community as a close contact, they will be in touch with that person directly.

Because of our campus public health protocols, which require masking and six feet of social distancing, the number of close contacts for an individual is likely to be very small.  For example, classmates, staff and faculty members are not likely to be close contacts, because of the ways that classrooms, offices, and other campus spaces have been de-densified. This is why these practices of masking and distancing are so critically important for everyone to follow. 

If you are determined to be a close contact of a positive case, you will be contacted by the Wayne County Health Department and/or Wooster’s Director of Emergency Management with further instructions on required quarantine and COVID-19 testing.

What happens if I test positive?

In the event you are notified that the test results are positive, or “abnormal” in the lab’s language please do the following:

  • Immediately go to your room and stay there. Do not take part in any activities or go to any public buildings.
  • Call the Wellness Center at 330-263-2319 to receive further instructions.
  • At that time, various offices of the College will give you any assistance needed.
  • You will be moved out of your room and into a comfortable isolation location. Please pack all your personal and academic items that you will need for up to 14 days.
  • A staff member will be assigned as your contact throughout your required time in isolation.

Quarantine Procedures

While we are constantly examining public health guidance from various sources we are defaulting to the isolation/quarantine procedures recommended by our local Ohio and Wayne county experts. During the time you are in quarantine you will have the full support of the College, including the Dean of Students’ Office, SPS, Wellness, Facilities, Dining Services, and others. The procedures outlined below are for the safety and health of you and the College community. 

Quarantine will now be 10 days from last date of exposure.

  • A self-administered rapid test will be administered 5 days after the date of exposure.
    • If the self-administered rapid test comes back positive, the student will move to isolation and be given a PCR test.
    • Once moved to isolation the student will remain there through their quarantine period, even if their PCR test comes back negative.
  • PCR tests will be given on the eighth day of quarantine and students will be released if a negative test result comes back (with lab times this puts the target to release those in quarantine on the 10th day).
    • We review cases for release every business day before 11am. Students will be released the following business day from when they receive their results.
    • If the PCR test comes back positive, the student will move to isolation and isolate per the isolation policy.
  • Students will need to monitor their symptoms for a full 14 days from the date of exposure. Students should use the Scots Daily Health Check app to record symptoms.

Those who have been vaccinated (14 days after last dose of the vaccine) will not need to quarantine for 90 days from the date of effectiveness of the vaccine.

Support Information for Students in Quarantine

  • Accommodations: You will be provided a clean private room with a private bathroom at a local hotel. WiFi is provided. You will be moved to a new room after seven days.
  • Daily Symptom Monitoring: You must record and report your symptoms daily using the “Scots Daily Health Check” app, which is being monitored by the nursing staff. You will be receiving daily email reminders from HealthCheck@wooster.edu at 7 a.m. to enter your symptoms. If you notice any symptoms while in quarantine, please call the Wellness Center at 330-263-2319 to speak to a nurse.
  • Dining: Lunch and dinner will be delivered daily. Boxed water and snacks will also be provided. You will receive a link to order your meals in advance. Breakfast is provided on site.
  • Classes: We will contact your faculty to let them know a member of their class will not be attending in-person. You should be in touch with them if you have any difficulty participating or completing your coursework remotely.
  • Student Support: You will be contacted daily by a member of College staff to make sure you have everything you need.

Isolation Procedures

If you test positive you will be required to go into isolation for 10-days after your positive test result.

  • If you are symptomatic, the symptoms must lessen and you must be without fever for 24 hours without the use of medication.
  • Those with severe illness may have to isolate until symptoms lessen which could mean up to 20 days. 

Students should monitor their symptoms for a full 14 days from the onset of symptoms or a positive test using the Scots Daily Health Check app. 

If a person is in quarantine when they test positive, the time for isolation starts with the date they took the test that returned a positive result.

Support Information for Students in Isolation

  • Accommodations: You will be provided a clean room with shared bathroom facilities. WiFi is provided. Custodial Services will provide fresh linens on Fridays of each week. You are required to stay in your assigned unit during isolation.
  • Daily Symptom Monitoring: While in isolation you will continue to have symptom checks per CDC guidelines with a nurse at the Wellness Center twice per day, typically at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Dining: Meals will be delivered to you three times a day. Boxed water and snacks will also be provided. You will receive a link to order your meals in advance.
  • Personal Laundry: The Wellness Center will provide laundry service for your personal items, if you are in need during your isolation stay.
  • Classes: We will contact your faculty to let them know a member of their class will not be attending in-person. You should be in touch with them if you have any difficulty participating or completing your coursework remotely.
  • Student Support: You will be contacted daily by a member of College staff to make sure you have everything you need.

Pending no onset of symptoms, you will be released from isolation 10 days after your positive test. When you are officially released, you will receive an email from the Dean of Students’ Office or the nursing staff at Longbrake Student Wellness Center.

Protocols for Students Who are Vaccinated

Those who are vaccinated will not need to quarantine if ALL the following criteria are met:

  • The person is fully vaccinated, which means it has been 14 days since the last dose
  • The person is within 3 months of the last dose of the vaccine
  • The person has remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure

Persons who do not meet ALL 3 of the above criteria should quarantine after exposure to COVID-19.

Persons who do not quarantine should still fill out the Scots Daily Health Check to monitor for possible COVID-19 symptoms.

Additional FAQs

How do I know if a student is cleared to leave isolation or quarantine?

All students receive an email message from the Dean of Students' Office when they are released and are encouraged to share that if there are questions about their status.

What’s the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick, while quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Students who have a positive COVID-19 test or are symptomatic and awaiting test results will be required to move into isolation.

Students who are a close contact identified through contact tracing as having sustained exposure of longer than 15 minutes, unmasked and within six feet of someone with a positive test result are required to go into quarantine. Contact tracing is conducted by the Wayne County Health Department and Wooster’s Emergency Management Team.

Am I at risk if I believe I am a close contact to someone in quarantine? Should I also quarantine?

According to the Wayne County Health Department and standard contact tracing protocols as defined by Johns Hopkins University, only those individuals defined as close contacts to an individual who has tested positive are to quarantine. If you are concerned, you can send an email to testscots@wooster.edu and staff will provide you opportunities for testing.

Will I be required to quarantine and test if I leave campus?

Because students are living in a congregate setting, travel beyond Wooster, overnight travel, and travel to any event at which more than 20 people are expected are still not permitted unless there are exceptional circumstances. If you have an immediate and emergency need to leave campus overnight or beyond Wooster you may request to do so through the Dean of Students’ Office by completing the following form (“Follow-up to Thursday's campus update” 9/11).

Per the travel advisory from the Ohio Department of Health, students coming from areas identified by the State of Ohio as hot spots (positivity rate of 15% or greater) will be required to quarantine until their tests are returned. (Changes to the Fall 2020 plan 8/5).

If your family is at-risk can you get a test prior to going home?

There is ample testing in Ohio. If family members have particular concerns for the health of family in that moment, we should be able to assist.