COVID-19 Basics

If you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, do not go to class, report to work or attend campus events. Contact your primary care physician or the Campus cCinic (605.274.5552) to inquire about testing for COVID-19. If you have questions about the Augustana COVID-19 Response Protocols, or are being tested for COVID-19, please contact the Augustana COVID-19 Response Team at or 605.274.4124 (option 2). This team will work with individuals on the tracking of their testing, quarantine and isolation periods, as well as monitor and support them throughout the process.


Contact Tracing: Contact tracing is the process through which those who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 are identified so they can quarantine and stop further spread. 

Close Contact: A close contact is any individual who was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before illness onset — for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to the infected person’s positive specimen collection. 

Immunity Period: The immunity period is 90 days from the date of symptom on-set for symptomatic individuals or 90 days from positive test for asymptomatic individuals for anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 and who has recovered and remains without COVID-19 symptoms.  

Isolation: As defined by the CDC, isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected. While in isolation, the sick or infected individual should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area.

Physical Distancing: Physical distancing means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household. To practice physical distancing, stay at least six feet (about two arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Possible Close Contact: Someone who has been in close contact with someone who is symptomatic with a pending test will be considered a possible close contact until the pending test results are received. 

  • If pending test results are positive, this person will become a close contact and quarantine.
  • If pending test results are negative, this person will return to self-monitoring and original activity.
  • Guidelines to adhere to as a possible close contact:
    • Remain in current housing, with limited outside contact.  
    • Continue with standard academic activity, adhering to the health and safety protocols in place within campus buildings.  
    • Adhering to health and safety protocols within current housing, including mask usage when in common areas to limit risk to others (hallways, bathrooms, etc.)
    • Do not attend extra-curricular activities.  
    • Do not participate in any Recreational Services activities.
    • Do not eat in the dining room, Huddle, or coffee shop. Students participating in a meal plan may order meals via the BiteU app and pick up a meal order to go.

Recovered: Individuals who are deemed “recovered” are those who are able to end isolation based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations. The CDC uses symptom based criteria for ending isolation. Recommendations for ending isolation include at least ten days have passed since symptom onset, at least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms have improved. It is important to note that lingering symptoms such as fatigue, loss of taste and loss of smell may continue and does not necessarily prohibit return to campus academic activities.   

Self-Monitoring: Self-monitoring is a tool to provide early detection of infection. Self-monitoring involves taking your temperature daily to monitor for a fever of 100.4 or greater. Other symptoms to monitor include the following: cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, chills, new loss of taste or smell, runny nose, congestion, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.

Quarantine: As defined by the CDC, quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. Individuals who have a pending symptomatic test for the virus or are a close contact will be instructed to quarantine while awaiting test results.

  • Individuals who are vaccinated can avoid quarantine.
  • Quarantine may end after Day 10 without testing and only if the person has not experienced any symptoms.
  • When COVID-19 testing resources are sufficient and available, quarantine may end after Day 7 with a negative test result and if no symptoms were experienced during daily monitoring. The COVID-19 test must be collected on Day 5 or after from the last date of exposure. Quarantine cannot be discontinued prior to the conclusion of Day 7.
  • In both scenarios, continued self-monitoring and masking are essential through Day 14.
  • Individuals in quarantine will be monitored by the COVID Response Team and supported with care from the university.

Vaccinated:  An individual who 14 days after they have received the final dose of the vaccine (2nd dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or 1 dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).


  • Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, dry cough, fatigue, loss of appetite, loss of smell and/or taste, and body ache. 
  • In some people, COVID-19 causes more severe symptoms like high fever, severe cough, and shortness of breath, which often indicates pneumonia.  
  • Some individuals do not experience any symptoms from COVID-19.


Symptomatic Testing: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, get tested right away. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face), get emergency medical care immediately by calling 911.

  • Contact the Campus Clinic 605.274.5552 regarding your symptoms and to get information about getting tested.
  • Notify the Augustana COVID Response Team (605.274.4124, option 2 or so you can be supported through the process of quarantine and/or isolation and so contact tracing can begin.

Asymptomatic Testing: If you are not experiencing symptoms and you receive a test out of curiosity or by a situational requirement (e.g. athletic testing requirements), you will not need to quarantine and will continue normal activity and self-monitoring.

Exposure to a Close Contact 

  • If you are healthy and the exposed person you came into contact with did not have any symptoms, you do not have to get tested or quarantine.
  • Wear a mask, practice hand hygiene, self-monitor for symptoms and practice physical distancing. 

Example: Person A is COVID-19 positive and needs to self-isolate for ten days. Person B has been within six feet of  Person A for greater than 15 minutes. Person B is considered a close contact and needs to quarantine for 7-10 days even if asymptomatic. Person C has been closer than six feet for more than 15 minutes to asymptomatic Person BPerson C is not considered a close contact and does not need to be quarantined as long as Person B is asymptomatic. Person C needs to continue to wear a mask, practice hand hygiene, self-monitor for symptoms and practice physical distancing.

Note: Protocols are subject to change per CDC guidance and recommendations from local health authorities.