Updated COVID-19 Guidelines for Exposures, Symptoms and Positive Tests

As of January 13, 2022

In consultation with the DeKalb County Health Department, NIU is updating procedures regarding vaccination status and instructions for quarantining and isolating to reflect the newest guidance from the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health. The information below is subject to change and will be updated as new guidance is received. 

Vaccination Status: The CDC recommends that all individuals be fully vaccinated with the primary series of a vaccine (1 dose of Johnson & Johnson, or two doses of Pfizer or Moderna) and up to date (received booster) on their vaccines. This means:

  • An individual, age 18 and older, has received all recommended vaccine doses (fully vaccinated) and a booster;
  • An individual received their first dose of Johnson & Johnson less than two months ago or received their last dose of Pfizer or Moderna less than (5) five months ago; or
  • An individual has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days.

Boosters:  The CDC advises that all vaccinated people ages 12 and older should receive a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals are considered fully boosted the date the booster was received. You are eligible to receive a booster two (2) months after the first dose of Johnson & Johnson or five (5) months after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna.

Procedures for Exposure to COVID-19

Please note the following for counting days: If you have been exposed to COVID-19, count the day of your last exposure as Day 0.

I've Been Exposed and Do Not Have Symptoms

Do I Need to Quarantine if I Do Not Have Symptoms?

Can I Go to Work/School?

Do I Need to Test?

Fully vaccinated + boosted

NO

YES

Only if symptoms develop

Fully vaccinated but have not received a booster if eligible

YES. Isolate for 5 days and wear a mask at all times around others for an additional 5 days.

On Day 6 if symptom-free

Test on Day 5, if possible.

Are not fully vaccinated (less than two weeks past first dose of Johnson & Johnson or 2 weeks past second dose of Pfizer or Moderna)

YES. Isolate for 5 days and wear a mask at all times around others for an additional 5 days

On Day 6 if symptom-free

Test on Day 5, if possible.

Tested positive within the past 90 days

NO

YES

Test on Day 5, if possible.

Unvaccinated

YES. Isolate for 5 days and wear a mask at all times around others for an additional 5 days

On Day 6 if symptom-free

Test on Day 5, if possible.

 

Procedures for Experiencing COVID-19 Symptoms or Positive COVID-19 Test

Please note the following for counting days: If you have symptoms, count the day that your first symptom appeared as Day 0. If you do not have symptoms, count the day that you got tested as Day 0.

 I Have Symptoms and/or Tested Positive – Regardless of Vaccination Status

Isolation and Physical Distancing Instructions

 When Can I Be Cleared by NIU to Resume Work/School?

 Testing

Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and have not come in contact with someone who is positive (no known exposure).

Isolate for 5 days. Maintain strict masking for 5 additional days.

On Day 6 after symptom onset and symptoms are improving. If PCR test comes back negative, and symptoms are improving, including being free from fever, vomiting, or diarrhea for 24 hours isolation can end early.

Seek a PCR test to determine if positive for COVID at onset of symptoms.

Positive for COVID but does NOT have symptoms (asymptomatic)

Isolate for 5 days. Maintain strict masking for 5 additional days.

On Day 6 after positive test if still asymptomatic.

No need to re-test

Positive for COVID, with symptoms

Isolate for 5 days. Maintain strict masking for 5 additional days.

On Day 6 from onset of symptoms OR initial test (whichever first), and symptoms are improving, including being free from fever, vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours. 

No need to re-test

Getting Tested

Any student or employee who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been exposed to COVID-19 can test on campus at the Student Health Center using the free SHIELD Illinois saliva-based PCR test. Schedule an appointment online by choosing the “NIU ‘Sick Only’ Student Health Center” location in the SHIELD testing portal. Please do not go to the SHIELD testing site in the Holmes Student Center if you are symptomatic.

If you’ve been exposed and are asymptomatic, you can schedule a testing appointment in the SHIELD testing portal to take a test in the Holmes Student Center testing site.

Reporting Cases

Students, faculty and staff who are experiencing symptoms or have tested positive, regardless of vaccination status, must immediately complete the COVID-19 Screening Checklist. Students will need the approval of Campus Clear to resume classes and activities.  Employees will need approval from Human Resource Services to resume working on campus.

Back to top