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Students: If You Are Infected or Exposed to COVID-19

If you contract, have symptoms of, test positive for, or are exposed to COVID-19, follow the steps below. Students should comply with case investigator and contact tracing health assessment emails. Make sure to notify Drexel if you test positive: Report positive test results through the Drexel Health Checker or email Do not come to campus if you don’t feel well or if you suspect you may have COVID-19.

What should I do if...
 I have a positive COVID-19 test?  I have COVID-19 symptoms?
 I was exposed to COVID-19?
  • Stay home and isolate for 5 days after positive test.
  • Report test results through the Drexel Health Checker if test was obtained outside of Drexel.
  • Expect a call from Drexel Contact Tracing, and an email with home care instructions.
  • Students cannot return to class until cleared by the contact tracing team.
  • Wear a mask around other people at all times for 5 days after isolation ends.
  • Stay home, report symptoms to Drexel via email, and schedule test* within 24 hours.
  • Isolate until test results return.
    • Negative test result: Continue to stay home until symptoms end, then return to normal activity. Retest after 48 hours if still symptomatic.
    • Positive test result: See positive test instructions.
  • Wear a well-fitting, high-filtration face mask around others while you have symptoms, even if you test negative.
  • You may be contacted by Drexel Contact Tracing.
  • In all cases of exposure:
    • Take a test (or retest)* 5 days from last exposure. If you test positive on day 5, follow "positive test" directions.
    • For 10 days after last exposure, wear a well-fitting, high-filtration mask around others and self-monitor for symptoms.
  • If you have no symptoms, you can otherwise continue normal activity.
  • If you have symptoms, stay home and schedule a test within 24 hours.*

 *You can use an at-home rapid antigen test (which you can obtain at the Student Health Center) or schedule a PCR test through the Drexel Health Checker.

NOTE: If you have severe or worsening COVID symptoms, please speak with a medical professional. Students can schedule an appointment at Student Health by calling (215) 220-4700 (if calling after work hours, select option 5 to speak with an on-call doctor).

If You Test Positive: More Information for Students

Report Your Result

If you received your positive test at a Drexel testing site, you should be contacted by the Drexel COVID Tracing Team. If you do not hear from them within 24 hours, email

If you received your positive test result elsewhere, report your test result through the Drexel Health Checker or email

Drexel Health Checker

A staff member of the COVID Tracing Team will contact you to facilitate testing and assist with isolation or quarantine if needed. Student Health will also try to identify where you may have been exposed to the infection and work to identify and confidentially alert additional contacts so they do not spread the virus. Make sure to answer your phone so that contact tracers can reach you. If you are experiencing COVID symptoms and feel you need medical attention or have additional questions, please call the Student Health Center right away by phone (215.220.4700).

Isolate in Place

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, students who receive a positive COVID-19 test will be asked to isolate for 5 days. If you live in a Drexel Residence Hall, Fraternity house, or Sorority house, you must isolate in your assigned room or elect to isolate at your off-campus home. “Isolate in Place” protocols allow the University to prioritize isolation housing accommodations for residential students most in need, such as those with medical conditions that place them at higher risk from COVID.

We strongly encourage students who can return to an off-campus home by a private car to isolate at home.

Note: Drexel will not provide a quarantine location for non-residential students. Students who reside off-campus must isolate in place in their residence or return to their home.

If a student living on campus is diagnosed with COVID-19, Drexel will identify the area(s) of exposure and follow CDC and Philadelphia Health Department guidelines in order to clean and disinfect areas used by the ill student (students are responsible for cleaning their own dorm rooms).

When in isolation, you may not leave your room. Exceptions may include picking up campus dining-provided meals from designated pick-up locations, using the bathroom, or for a pre-approved appointment at Drexel Health, and you must wear a well-fitted, high filtration mask (KN95, KF94 or N95) and maintain social distance.

If you have roommate(s):

  • Always wear a mask around your roommate(s) except when you are sleeping.
  • Try to avoid shared bathrooms when others are using them.
  • Use good hand hygiene.

Consider discussing isolation precautions (such as mask-wearing, shared items, and cleaning) with roommates in advance so everyone is prepared to stay safer.

After isolation ends, you must continue to wear a well-fitting, high-filtration mask around others for 5 days. Avoid social activities (such as shared meals) that require you to take your mask off around others.

Reporting a Concern

Drexel Housing and Residence Life informs residential students about guidelines and expectations when isolating. Any residential student concerns regarding how their peers are following guidelines, may be directed to their residence hall’s Resident Director or the Front Desk of their residence hall (Van R for Fraternity and Sorority houses). Students can also report issues through the Drexel incident reporting form: General Incident Reports Form ( Students who do not follow isolation guidelines and expectations may be referred to Student Conduct for additional follow-up.

Support Services

Student Health Services will provide ongoing support for students who are living in campus residential housing and have tested positive for COVID-19. These services may include:

  • Meal pickup, with meals ordered by the student to suit dietary needs (Housing and Residence Life will contact you upon notification of a positive test)
  • Communication of short-term medical leave and coordination with academic advisors to provide academic materials and study support for students during the isolation period

We know that isolation can be stressful, and we encourage students to utilize virtual resources available through the Drexel Counseling Center.

Residential students: see FAQs below for more information.


Isolation and Quarantine FAQs for Residential Students

My roommate tested positive and I was exposed. Do I have to quarantine?

If you are not exhibiting any COVID symptoms, you do not need to quarantine; however, you must wear a well-fitting high-filtration mask around other people for the next 10 days and get tested on day five following exposure.

If you develop symptoms, you should test and quarantine (stay in your room and wear a high-filtration mask if you need to leave), regardless of vaccine status, until you receive your test results. Sign up for an appointment via the Drexel Health Checker. During this time, you should take precautions to decrease the spread of potential infection to others; visit the How to Protect & Others | CDC webpage for more information.

What are some considerations for isolating with roommates?

If a student tests positive for COVID-19 and has a roommate/suitemate, the roommate/suitemate(s) should be notified of an exposure through our contact tracers. We encourage COVID-positive students to help mitigate the spread by telling their close contacts as soon as possible. The following procedures may help roommates stay healthier during the isolation period:

  • Remain masked and maintain social distance as much as possible. Masking is not required during sleep.
  • Do not share items (e.g., drinking glasses, eating utensils, towels, bedding) or engage in physical contact.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if you can't wash your hands.
  • Clean surfaces with sanitizing wipes.

If you are immunocompromised, please contact student health at 215.220.4700 or housing to discuss additional options for isolation or quarantine.

How do I obtain meals while in isolation?

You will be provided with meals through the University while in isolation. Upon testing positive for COVID-19, Housing and Residence Life will collect your dietary needs information, and you will receive your first meal service for the day within 2 hours. You are encouraged to pick up your campus dining-provided meals from the designated location in your building within 20 mins when notified of the delivery; you must wear a well-fitted, high filtration mask (KN95, KF94 or N95) to pick up your meals.

I'm immunocompromised or have a disability. Who can I contact with concerns?

Students with disabilities or who are immunocompromised can contact the following about concerns related to COVID-19 infection, exposure, or isolation-in-place:

  • For medical-related questions, call Student Health at 215.220.4700.
  • For accommodations-related questions, contact Disability Resources:
  • In an emergency, call Drexel Public Safety at 215.895.2222.

What is the isolation guidance for residential students who test positive for COVID?

If you live in a Drexel Residence Hall, Fraternity house, or Sorority house, you must isolate in your assigned room or elect to isolate at your off-campus home.

Students who reside off-campus must isolate in place in their residence or return to their home. We strongly encourage students who can do so to return to their off-campus homes by private car to isolate at their homes.

When in isolation, you may not leave your room except to pick up campus dining-provided meals at designated locations, use the bathroom, or attend a pre-approved appointment at Drexel Health; on those occasions you must wear a well-fitted, high filtration mask (KN95, KF94 or N95) and maintain social distance. Do not travel, go to class, work, or participate in social activities. You must not host friends or attend gatherings.

We know that isolation can be stressful, and we encourage students to utilize virtual resources available through the Drexel Counseling Center.

How is the ventilation in my residential building?

Drexel University facilities assess ventilation, air flow, and air quality in Drexel residential buildings. Air purifiers have been added to key areas, including the residence halls, to enhance air exchange.

What should I do about my classes while in isolation?

As in previous terms, students who are required to be isolated or quarantined must not attend class in person. The isolating student must inform their professors and instructors of their need to isolate/quarantine and work with them to keep up with their coursework.

Updated March 13, 2023