Close Menu

COVID-19 FAQ: Potential, Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

I think I've been in direct contact with someone who has COVID-19. What should I do?

Use the chart below to establish which type of contact you may have had and contact the Whitworth COVID Care Team at

Direct Contact means:

  • Living in the same house or room
  • Being within 6 feet of someone for 15 minutes
  • Getting coughed or sneezed on, kissing, sharing utensils
  • Visiting often

Primary Contact = Direct contact with a positive case of COVID-19

  • You must get tested for COVID-19 and quarantine for 10 days
  • Follow instructions from healthcare provider, CDC, Health Department

Secondary Contact = Direct contact with a primary contact

  • Monitor for symptoms and get COVID-19 test if symptoms present
  • Becomes a primary contact if your own primary contact ends up testing positive
  • If the person who was your primary contact tests positive, you must get tested and self-quarantine for 10 days from last date of exposure to the person who tested positive for COVID-19.

Tertiary Contact = Direct contact with a secondary contact

  • Becomes secondary contact if your own secondary contact becomes a primary contact

What do I do if I'm experiencing symptoms?

  • Stay home from work and school. If you are having a life-threatening medical emergency, call 911 and go to the nearest hospital.
  • Call your health care provider, a nurse triage hotline on the back of your health insurance card, or the health center for eligible students.
  • The health care provider, nurse or health center staff will ask you screening questions to determine best next steps in regards to the following:
    • If you need to have a medical evaluation
    • If you need to be tested for COVID-19
    • If you need to quarantine or isolate for a specific length of time
  • For notification purposes, if you have been exposed to COVID-19, have COVID-19 symptoms, are undergoing testing for COVID-19 or have been diagnosed with COVID-19, please let the university know by submitting a "Report a COVID Concern" through the LiveSafe app or by sending an email to the COVID Care Team:

How long is the self-quarantine period if I think I was exposed to someone with COVID-19?

It is recommended that you stay home for 14 days. Alternatively, you can quarantine for 10 days from the last exposure (with a negative COVID-19 test) as long as you remain symptom-free and follow strict masking and distancing guidance through day 14. The Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) does not recommend a release any earlier than 10 days from the last exposure. SRHD does recommend testing for all persons who have a known exposure to the virus.

How long do I need to self-isolate when I have symptoms (without a known exposure) and am awaiting results of my COVID-19 test?

While results are pending, you should remain in self-isolation. If symptoms persist after receiving a negative COVID-19 result, you should contact your health care provider or the health center for eligible students to receive guidance before discontinuing self-isolation. If your symptoms have resolved and your test was negative, you can stop self-isolation and resume your regular activities. The Washington State Department of Health has provided information on What to do if you have symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

How long do I remain in self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19?

If you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and have symptoms, you can stop your home isolation when:

  • You've been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication AND
  • Your symptoms have gotten better, AND
  • At least 10 days have gone by since your symptoms first appeared.

If you tested positive for COVID-19, but have not had any symptoms, you can stop your home isolation when:

  • At least 10 days have gone by since the date of your first positive COVID-19 test, AND
  • You have not gotten sick with COVID-19

The Washington State Department of Health has provided information on What to do if you have confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Are older adults at higher risk for complications from COVID-19?

Yes. Older adults are considered higher risk for serious complications from COVID-19. For more information:

Please consult with your healthcare provider about your personal risks.

What if I have underlying health conditions?

Some individuals may be at higher risk of complications from COVID-19 due to their health status. Please refer to the following CDC resource for information about higher-risk conditions.

Please consult with your healthcare provider regarding your specific risks as they pertain to COVID-19 to determine if precautions (or which precautions) are appropriate for you.

If you are a student with underlying health conditions and need to flex to remote learning we will work with you to create a course schedule that will allow you to meet degree requirements and to have the best remote learning experience possible. Please contact Associate Provost Brooke Kiener at

What if I'm experiencing anxiety over COVID-19?

Students who are experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency should call 911. If a student is having a mental health crisis, they should call:

A new partnership will be launched Sept. 3 with ProtoCall and the Whitworth Counseling Center offering no cost, 24/7 mental health crisis support to all students, which will be accessed through the counseling center phone line. Stay tuned for additional details.

Will those who've come in close contact with a COVID-19 patient be notified?

Whitworth's COVID Care Team has its own contact tracers who will work in collaboration with the Spokane Regional Health District. Contract tracers will collect information about individuals who may have been in close contact (defined as within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Guidance will be provided to close contacts regarding next steps, such as quarantine, isolation and/or testing.