FAQ: Self-quarantine for COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019)
If you are asked to self-quarantine after returning from a country listed as Level 3 on the CDC’s COVID-19 travel advisories page, you should stay home — in your room, your apartment, or your house. Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, or other social gatherings until 14 days after the date of your departure from the country in question. Follow these guidelines for self-quarantine:
- Report any symptoms of COVID-19 immediately to MIT Medical by calling MIT Medical’s 24/7 coronavirus hotline at 617-253-4865.
- Stay in your room, apartment or house. Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, or other social or religious gatherings until 14 days after your departure from the country in question.
- Limit contact with other people as much as possible. This includes isolating yourself as much as possible from anyone living in your residence.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with your upper arm or a tissue. Never cough in the direction of someone else.
- Wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs after coughing or sneezing or throwing a used tissue in the garbage.
- Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding, or any other items until you are no longer asked to self-quarantine.
- Keep your surroundings clean. If you are in a dorm, MIT Facilities workers will clean common areas, but it is up to residents to keep their own living spaces clean. While the virus is not spread very well from contact with soiled household surfaces, try to clean surfaces that you share with others, such as door knobs, telephones, and bathroom surfaces (or any other object that you sneeze or cough on), with a standard household disinfectant such as Clorox wipes. Wash your hands after cleaning the area.
March 6, 2020
Upon your arrival in the US from one of the countries listed on the CDC's COVID-19 travel advisories page, MIT requires that you fill out and submit an online travel registration form. If you have not yet filled out this form, please do it now. Any individual who traveled to a Level 3 country will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days, and others may also be asked to self-quarantine. We will contact you individually to discuss your specific circumstances and will give you advice about what you should do to keep yourself and the rest of MIT community healthy.
March 6, 2020
Any individual who traveled to a Level 3 country will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days, and those who traveled to other countries listed on the CDC’s COVID-19 travel advisories page may also be asked to self-quarantine. MIT Medical will evaluate each person’s risk to make that determination. We are in close contact with the Massachusetts and Cambridge Departments of Public Health and will make individual recommendations based on the latest information.
March 6, 2020
No. Remember this is the peak of our annual cold and flu season. It is far more likely someone just has a cold or the flu than coronavirus. We encourage everyone to cover their coughs and sneezes and to wash their hands often. Anyone who is sick should stay home until they recover.
Fear can easily lead to discrimination and profiling. We should not assume that someone is disobeying self-quarantine recommendations simply because they are coughing or sneezing.
February 2, 2020
MIT students who are rooming with an individual who has been asked to self-quarantine can be temporarily moved to other living quarters. Send an email to email@example.com, and the MIT CARE team will take care of getting you moved.
If you live with a spouse or family members who has been asked to self-quarantine, you should follow these guidelines:
- Clean your hands. All persons sharing living quarters with someone who is under self-quarantine should clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub frequently.
- Monitor yourself for symptoms. If you are sharing living quarters with someone who is under self-quarantine, monitor yourself closely for the development of fever and respiratory symptoms. If you develop a fever, cough, or sore throat, call MIT Medical’s 24/7 coronavirus hotline immediately at 617-253-4865 to report your illness and get advice.
- Don’t visit those who are under self-quarantine.
- Clean common surfaces. The virus is not spread very well from contact with soiled household surfaces, but it’s still a good idea to clean surfaces that you share with the person who is under self-quarantine (or any sick person) such as door knobs, telephones, and bathroom surfaces. Use a standard household disinfectant. Wash your hands after cleaning the area.
- Wash laundry and dishes safely. If you are washing used linens (such as bed sheets and towels) for the person who is under self-quarantine, use household laundry soap and tumble dry on a hot setting. Avoid “hugging” laundry and use a laundry basket or bag while carrying it to the washing machine to prevent self-contamination. Clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub right after handling dirty laundry. Dirty dishes and eating utensils should be washed in a dishwasher or by hand with warm water and soap.
February 3, 2020
As always, you should be sure to wash your hands after touching anything in the bathroom. You should also avoid sharing any linens, such as bath towels or hand towels. The person who is under self-quarantine should be wearing a mask when they travel to and from the bathroom, and that should help limit exposure as well. More tips can be found on our flu page under “If your roommate is sick.”
February 4, 2020