For students and employees who live, study, or work in New York, NYU has assembled comprehensive guidance on the steps you should take if you have symptoms of COVID-19, may have been exposed, or test positive for COVID-19.

Since guidance may differ in different regions, we urge students and employees at NYU locations to contact their local public health authority or healthcare provider to inquire about resources.  

While NYU is no longer conducting universal contact tracing, we remain committed to providing COVID-19 related support for the community. This approach is in line with the NYS announcement that no longer requires local health departments to conduct universal contact tracing following positive COVID-19 test results.

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Updated: June 7

What to Do if You Test Positive

If you test positive, you are required to isolate until you are no longer infectious, regardless of your vaccination status. You are not permitted to enter NYU buildings or participate in NYU-sponsored in-person activities until you meet the criteria for ending isolation.

You must complete the COVID-19 Report Form to receive guidance on:

  • How to isolate
  • Communicating your absence from in-person attendance
  • Notifying your close contacts
  • How to end isolation
  • Returning to in-person activities
  • Medical care

In addition to submitting the form, students who live in an NYU residence hall should also review How to Quarantine or Isolate in NYU Housing for answers to many common questions about meals, mail and packages, academics, activities, services, and more.

What to Do if You Have Symptoms

People with COVID-19 report a wide range of symptoms – from mild discomfort to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

Get Tested as Soon as Possible

You should use a rapid test right away (at home or at a testing facility). If your rapid antigen test is negative, you should still follow up with a PCR test.

If your rapid antigen test OR PCR test result is positive

Follow the guidance for what to do if you test positive.

If your rapid antigen test AND PCR test are negative

If you no longer have symptoms, you may end quarantine. If you were notified that you were a close contact, you should continue to follow the guidance for what to do if you were exposed for 10 days after your exposure.

If you continue to have symptoms, please continue to stay home until you have been fever free for more than 24 hours without fever reducing medication, and your symptoms are improving.

Stay Home and Avoid Contact With Others

  • If you live with other people, separate yourself from them as much as you can. Wear an acceptable and well-fitting mask at all times when you are around other people.
  • Do not go out except to get tested or for essential medical care that cannot be rescheduled.
    • You are not permitted to enter NYU buildings or participate in NYU-sponsored in-person activities. Do not go to in-person classes or work.
    • Wear a well-fitting mask if you must leave home.
    • Call ahead before going to any healthcare facility (including pharmacy).
    • Do not use public transportation or ride sharing.
  • Students who live in an NYU residence hall should review How to Quarantine or Isolate in NYU Housing for answers to many common questions about meals, mail and packages, academics, activities, services, and more.
  • Communicate your absence from in-person classes or work.
    • Students: If required, you should notify your instructors that you will not be attending in-person classes due to illness.
    • Employees/Faculty: Please follow your unit/school/department’s standard call out procedures.

When communicating your absence, you are not required to share any personal medical information with your professors or supervisors (including test results, vaccination status, quarantine/isolation requirements).  

Seek Medical Care, If You Need It

  • Students can schedule a virtual appointment at the Student Health Center or or call (212) 443-1000 and ask to speak with a nurse.
  • Employees should contact their healthcare provider.
  • If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.

What to Do if You Were Exposed

Being exposed to COVID-19 means you were in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 and you may need to quarantine.

Guidance for people exposed to COVID-19 depends on your vaccination status and whether you have had a previous COVID-19 infection within the last 90 days.

Jump to guidance based on your vaccination status and any recent COVID-19 infections:

Regardless of whether or not you have symptoms of COVID-19, you are expected to take the following precautions for 10 full days after the day you were last exposed (with the exposure day being day 0).

  • Wear a well-fitting mask anytime you are around others, including at home/your residence halls room, on-campus, and in public.
  • Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask, such as restaurants, and avoid eating around others at home and at work.
    • You are not permitted to eat in any dining halls, designated eating spaces, other shared spaces, or at any events/gatherings (including outdoor events/gatherings with eating/drinking), even if others are eating/drinking.
      • You are required to eat in single occupancy spaces or outside.
      • If you are a residential student, you may enter the dining halls to pick up a Grab & Go meal that you eat in your room.
    • You must continue to wear your mask in settings where mask wearing is optional such events/gatherings, elevators, and hallways.
  • You cannot enter the NYU gyms (except for employees who work in these facilities who must remain masked).
  • Avoid travel until you get tested 5 days after your last close contact.
  • Make sure your test result is negative and you remain without symptoms before traveling.
  • Avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, nursing homes, and other high-risk settings.

If You Are Up-To-Date With Your Vaccinations OR Had COVID-19 in the Last 90 days

If You Do Not Have Symptoms

If You Have Symptoms

  • Begin isolating and follow the guidance for what to do if you have symptoms.
  • In addition to the instructions outlined in that section:
    • Keep in mind, if the person you were exposed to is someone who lives in your household and you are not able to separate from them, your last day of exposure is the last day you were (or will be) exposed to them during their isolation period.
    • You should test again 5 days after the end of their isolation period.

If You Are Not Up-To Date With Your COVID-19 Vaccinations AND Have Not Had COVID-19 in the Last 90 Days

If You Do Not Have Symptoms

  • Stay home and avoid contact with others for 5 full days after your last exposure (with the exposure day being day 0).
    • If you are exposed on more than one day, continue starting over with day 0 after each exposure.
  • For 10 full days after the day you were last exposed, you should:
  • Take a PCR COVID-19 test 5 days after your last exposure (with the exposure day being day 0).
    • If you were exposed on more than one day, get tested 5 days after the date of your initial exposure and again 5 days after your most recent exposure.
    • If the person you were exposed to is someone who lives in your household and you are not able to separate from them, your last day of exposure is the last day you were (or will be) exposed to them during their isolation period.
    • Resources to help you find and arrange COVID-19 testing:
  • If you develop symptoms, please follow the guidance for what to do if you are not up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines AND have not had COVID-19 in the last 90 days AND have COVID-19 symptoms
  • If you test positive, complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form. You will receive information about isolation, ending isolation, returning to in-person activities, and medical care.
  • If your PCR test is negative, you can stop quarantining on day 6 as long as you have been symptom-free throughout the 5-day period.
  • If you are moderately to severely immunocompromised or unable to wear a mask, quarantine for 10 full days.
  • Follow all additional precautions until day 10 after your last exposure.

If You Have Symptoms

  • Begin quarantining and follow the guidance for what to do if you have symptoms.
  • If you test positive, complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form. You will receive information about isolation, ending isolation, returning to in-person activities, and medical care.
  • If you test negative, quarantine for at least 5 days from your last exposure (with the exposure day being day 0). You can stop quarantining on or after day 6, as long as you have received a negative PCR test result since your symptoms developed.
  • If the person you were exposed to is someone who lives in your household and you are not able to separate from them, your last day of exposure is the last day you were (or will be) exposed to them during their isolation period.
    • You should test again 5 days after the end of their isolation period.
  • If you are moderately to severely immunocompromised or unable to wear a mask, quarantine for at least 10 days from your last exposure.
  • Follow all additional precautions until day 10 after your last exposure.  

What to Do if You Know About a Positive Case

Faculty, administrators, supervisors, event hosts, and others who are made aware of somebody testing positive for COVID-19 should not make announcements, notify others about the case, cancel classes, and/or make health recommendations related to testing, quarantine, isolation, or cleaning. The COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team will be in touch with you if additional action is warranted.  

Given our high rates of vaccination and other safety measures, most people who are in the same space with a COVID-positive individual are not at increased risk for COVID-19 infection, and it does not require that the class be notified or that it be conducted remotely.

What to Do if a Visitor, Vendor, or Affiliate Tests Positive

Visitors, vendors, and affiliates do not complete the NYU COVID-19 Reporting. They are permitted back in NYU buildings or at University-sponsored activities (on or off campus) after they meet criteria for ending isolation, as outlined in the NYS Affirmation of Isolation Form. The visitor, vendor, or affiliate does not need to submit this form to NYU. The NYC Isolation and Quarantine Guidance Tool may be helpful for them in determining their isolation end date.

The information contained on this webpage is not intended for the diagnosis or treatment of disease or other conditions, or to take the place of consultation with a medical provider. If you're in an emergency medical situation, please call 911 or your local emergency number.