Containing Spread

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Updated August 17, 2020

Isolation and quarantine help protect the community by preventing exposure to people who have or may have contracted the virus.

  • Isolation separates people with a confirmed case (positive test) from people who are not sick.
  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a confirmed case to see if they too become sick.


Students who test positive must isolate from other people, either at home, if appropriate, or in an isolation room at the college. Food service and nursing oversight will be provided at the college. Local hospital facilities are excellent should that need ever arise. 

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 with symptoms will need to stay in isolation until:

  • At least 10 days have passed since the symptom onset; and
  • At least 24 hours have passed without a fever or the use of fever-reducing medications, and
  • Other symptoms have improved

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 without symptoms (asymptomatic) will need to stay in isolation for 10 days after the date of their first positive test.

The absence of symptoms does not necessarily indicate a false positive. Some confirmed cases never show symptoms but still transmit the disease to others.

Contact Tracing

When the college learns that a member of the community has tested positive for the coronavirus, it will initiate contact tracing in conjunction with the Department of Public Health. The college has staff and students who are trained and certified in contact tracing. The Department of Public Health may also conduct its own contact tracing.  

Members of the community will be notified and instructed should they need to quarantine as a result of the contact tracing. People who are “once-removed” from the positive case (“a contact of a contact”) do not normally need to quarantine; in other words, those in direct contact with someone in quarantine only do not need to quarantine themselves. People in quarantine will normally be tested four-five days after direct exposure. 


If a student has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is showing a pattern of COVID-19 symptoms, they should contact the Berry College Health Center immediately. The Health Center, in consultation with the Department of Public health, may require that student to quarantine, either at home, if appropriate, or in a quarantine room at the college. Food service will be provided through the college along with monitoring by the Health Center. 

Students instructed to quarantine as a result of sustained direct contact with a confirmed case will need to quarantine for 14 days after exposure, with or without symptoms. People in quarantine will normally be tested four-five days after direct exposure. A negative test does not mean, however, that the quarantine has ended as it can take up to 14 days to exhibit symptoms or show a positive test result. The expectation is that students will remain in their quarantine space for 14 days. (In some cases, a person isolated for a confirmed case will be able to leave isolation earlier than a person quarantined due to a possible infection. That is because the confirmed case would already be several days into the infection cycle.)

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