The COVID-19 Public Health Flowchart (PDF) informs University personnel and students when to report COVID-19 illness, when to get tested, and when to stay home.
Log of changes:
- 2/14/23: Updated instructions for returning to in-person activities in Scenario 3.
- 2/14/23: Added footnote 6 regarding reporting both positive and negative test results.
- 1/17/23: Added text box in Scenario 1 "Don’t Delay, Seek Treatment”
- 1/17/23: Added instructions for individuals with risk factors in Scenario 2.
- 1/17/23: Updated instructions for negative test result in Scenario 3.
- 1/17/23: Added text box for individuals with risk factors in Scenario 3.
- 12/29/22: Updated Scenario 2 with symptoms testing negative, and updated Scenario 3 testing negative.
- 12/29/22: Updated guidance for wearing a mask in Scenario 2 with symptoms and Scenario 3.
- 12/29/22: Added "Remain at home until you receive your test result" under Scenario 2 with symptoms.
- 12/29/22: Updated guidance for returning to campus.
The text-only version of the COVID-19 Public Health Flowchart appears below.
COVID-19 Public Health Flowchart (updated 1/17/23)
UW Medicine medical facility personnel follow UW Medicine protocols and reporting procedures.
School of Dentistry staff and students follow School of Dentistry guidance.
SCENARIO 1: You tested positive for COVID-19.
Regardless of your vaccination status and regardless of whether or not you have symptoms.
Submit a COVID-19 reporting form.
STAY HOME AND SELF-ISOLATE.
Do not go to work or class for 5 days since your symptoms started, 5 days since your test date (if you have no symptoms), or as instructed. (Footnote 3). Follow CDC isolation procedures.
SEND AN EXPOSURE NOTIFICATION VIA WA NOTIFY.
Go to Exposure Notifications on your mobile device to request a PIN and issue an anonymous notification.
DON'T DELAY, SEEK TREATMENT
If you test positive and are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 (per CDC), treatments are available that can reduce your chances of being hospitalized or dying from the disease.”
COMPLETE THE ELECTRONIC SURVEY.
The COVID-19 Response and Prevention Team (footnote 1) will send you a link to a health survey prior to the end of your isolation period.
Did your symptoms improve after 5 days of isolation?
- YES: End isolation after day 5 if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved (footnote 3).
- NO: Remain in isolation until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved (footnote 2). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Individuals with weakened immune systems and those who have moderate or severe illness should talk with their healthcare provider before ending isolation.
FOLLOW ADDITIONAL PRECAUTIONS (footnote 4) THROUGH DAY 10.
Wear a well-fitting surgical mask or KF94/KN95/N95 respirator for 10 full days when indoors around others at home and in public (footnote 5). Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask. Avoid travel and follow additional CDC precautions. Visit the CDC's COVID-19 Testing webpage for guidance on when to re-test.
SCENARIO 2: You were in close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19.
Notify email@example.com if your exposure was potentially related to workplace or campus activities (and you have not already been notified by the University).
Individuals with risk factors for COVID-19 complications should contact their healthcare provider now to ask about their treatment plan in the event of a positive test. Antiviral treatments are most effective if started soon after testing positive.
You have symptoms.
- Stay home and self-isolate. Do not go to work and/or class, regardless of your vaccination status.
Wear a well-fitting, surgical mask or KF94/KN95/N95 respirator while waiting for your test results and while you have symptoms. Masking is recommended when indoors and around others on campus.
Get tested immediately. Remain at home until you receive your test result.
Positive: Follow Scenario 1.
- Negative: If you use an at-home rapid antigen test, continue to stay home and test again in 48 hours (or get a PCR test to confirm your results, footnote 6). Take at least two home tests. If you continue to test negative with a rapid antigen test or test negative via PCR, the public health recommendation is that you remain at home until your symptoms have improved and that you may return to campus after you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication. Individuals with risk factors for flu complications should contact their healthcare provider right away to ask about influenza testing and treatment. Flu treatment is most effective if taken within the first two days of illness.
You have no symptoms.
- You can return to work and/or class.
- Wear a well-fitting, surgical mask or KF94/KN95/N95 respirator when around others at home and in public for 10 days.
- Watch for symptoms through day 10. If symptoms develop, follow instructions in Scenario 2.
- Get tested at least 5 days after exposure or immediately if you are unsure when you were exposed.
- Positive: Follow Scenario 1.
- Negative: If you tested using an at-home rapid antigen test, test again with another at- home rapid antigen test in 48 hours or get a PCR lab test to confirm your result (footnote 6). Watch for symptoms and wear a mask around others outside of your household for 10 days since your last exposure. If you develop symptoms, follow instructions for close contacts with symptoms in Scenario 2.
Will you have ongoing close contact (e.g., household member has COVID-19)?
- YES: Follow CDC guidance for ongoing exposure and contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
- NO: No further action is needed.
SCENARIO 3: You have one or more COVID-19 symptoms but no known exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual.
- Stay home and self-isolate. Do not go to work and/or class, regardless of vaccination status.
- Wear a well-fitting, surgical mask or KF94/KN95/N95 respirator while waiting for your test results.
- Get tested immediately.
Positive: Follow Scenario 1.
Negative: If you use an at-home rapid antigen test, continue to stay home until a second test is completed to confirm your result. A PCR test is the preferred second test and can be taken anytime, or you can wait 48 hours and then take another at-home rapid antigen test. Take at least two home tests 48 hours apart if PCR testing is not available (footnote 6). Individuals participating in the Husky Coronavirus Testing Research Study can pick up or request a self-test PCR kit and submit one nasal swab to be tested for three different viruses: COVID-19, RSV, and influenza.
Individuals with risk factors for COVID-19 and flu complications should contact their healthcare provider now to ask about further testing and a treatment plan in the event of a positive test. Antiviral treatments are most effective if started soon after testing positive
After confirming you are COVID-19 negative, you may return to in-person activities once your symptoms have improved and you have not had a fever in 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication). Please continue following the UW Face Covering Policy upon return.
1. Contact email@example.com or 206.616.3344 to reach the COVID-19 Response and Prevention Team in the UW Environmental Health & Safety Department. Email is preferred.
2. Follow CDC guidance for ending self-isolation if your symptoms are not improving and/or you had moderate or severe illness.
3. Additional requirements are followed by students in residence halls and athletics programs.
4. Read the University's Isolation Guidance for details.
5. With two sequential negative tests 48 hours apart, you may remove your mask sooner than day 10.
6. You can now report all at-home test results (negative and positive) to support national public health efforts.
People who also work in non-UW clinical settings contact their healthcare organization/clinical supervisor for guidance on returning to activities in those locations.