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August 30, 2022: New COVID Isolation Guidance

Message from ESU Leadership Team

August 30, 2022

Dear ESU Campus Community,

Emporia State has modified quarantine and isolation guidance based on recently updated information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In addition, ESU Student Wellness continues to work closely with Lyon County Public Health.

Our new campus guidance applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

The new protocols can be described as “test to know,” that is, testing so that individuals know if they need to isolate (because they test positive) or can return to classes, work and other activities (if they test negative).

NOTE: Students who live in residence halls will receive specific instructions from their hall staff when needed.

If you are exposed to COVID:

(Exposure includes a positive diagnosis for someone you live with or being told by someone infected that you may be a close contact.)

  • Wear a high-quality mask for 10 days while in public and around others in your home.
  • Conduct multiple rapid antigen home tests on Days 6, 8 and 10 (see chart below). Multiple tests are especially important to catch COVID in people who are asymptomatic or showing no symptoms.
  • Any activities that cannot be done with a mask on (e.g., eating, certain sports/physical activities, exercise) may not be done in public.

If you are diagnosed with COVID:

  • Isolate (remain separated from others).
  • Stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home. You are likely most contagious during these five days. If possible, move to a different room, use a separate bathroom, wear a mask if you must be in common areas like using the kitchen.
  • Wear a high-quality mask around others in your home or if you must go out in public (e.g., medical care).
  • After 5 days:
    • Isolation can end if you are fever free without medication for 24 hours and your symptoms are improving, or you never had symptoms.
    • Continue to wear a high-qualify mask through Day 10 around others in your home and in public.
    • Avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID until at least day 10.
  • If you have moderate illness or severe illness or you have a weakened immune system:
    • Isolate the full 10 days
    • If severe illness or a weakened immune system, contact your healthcare provider before ending isolation. You may need a viral test before ending isolation.
  • If COVID symptoms worsen after ending isolation, restart isolation at Day 0 and consult your healthcare provider.

Class Absences

Faculty and students should communicate with each other about class absences caused by a positive COVID test (as well as all illnesses and absences). Given that a positive COVID diagnosis could bring an absence of five days or more, faculty and students should work together to create a plan to make up work for the absence. Faculty are encouraged to provide understanding and grace with these situations.

Work Absences

Supervisors and employees should communicate with each other about work absences. Absences caused by COVID will be handled like other work absences for illness. Depending on symptoms, some employees may request to work from home during isolation. This is at the supervisors’ discretion, and supervisors cannot require employees to work when protected under federal and state law.

Additional Notes

  • The most effective masks remain well-fitting N95 or KN95 masks. University Facilities still has KN95 masks available.
  • Test kits are available for free from ESU Student Wellness, 250 SE Morse Hall. These are available for students, faculty and staff while supplies last.
  • Protection provided by the current vaccine diminishes over time, especially against the currently circulating variants. For this reason, it is important to stay up to date, especially as new vaccines become available.
    • ESU Student Health Center has Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax vaccines available for students, faculty and staff. Vaccines are administered by appointment. Call 620-341-5222 or stop by 250 SE Morse to make an appointment.


  • Campus COVID information:
  • Specific COVID questions — Contact the ESU Student Wellness Center (
  • Faculty and staff — Contact the Office of Human Resources (
  • Students — Contact the Office of Enrollment Management and Student Success (

Thank you for your continued support.


ESU Leadership Team