Isolation, Quarantine, and Contact Tracing Protocols

Plymouth State University is following the most up-to-date guidance from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) regarding COVID-19 Isolation, Quarantine, and Contact Tracing Protocols for the fall semester. The following information applies to all members of the PSU community (students, faculty, staff, and contractors) who are living, learning, or working in person on campus during the fall 2021 semester.

Definitions:

Fully vaccinated: having completed the full 2-dose series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines with at least 14 days elapsed since receiving the second dose or having received the single dose Janssen/J&J vaccine with at least 14 days elapsed since receiving the dose. (At this time, completed vaccination with a WHO-approved vaccine is considered fully vaccinated.)

Household contact: Per NH DHHS definition: “any individual who lives and sleeps in the same indoor shared space as another person diagnosed with COVID-19 (either a temporary or permanent living arrangement), leading to close contact and potential repeated exposure to the person with COVID-19. This includes situations where there may be temporary but prolonged exposure such as occurs as sleep-over events, shared camp cabins, vacation rentals, etc.”

At PSU, we will consider most student residence halls rooms/apartments/suites as a “household” for the purposes of contact tracing and quarantine recommendations. In off-campus settings, all those living in the same apartment or house may be considered “household” contacts for quarantine recommendations.

Isolation

All positive COVID-19 cases, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, must isolate for 10 days. Testing out of isolation is not permitted. Total isolation time is 10 days from the date of a positive test, not symptom onset date.

Quarantine/Contact Tracing

  • “Close contacts” are defined as immediate household members only—see definition above. For PSU, this would be residential hall or student apartment roommates and off-campus housemates that share a bedroom.
  • If a close contact tests positive, any other immediate household member who is vaccinated does not need to quarantine but should monitor for symptoms and have a PCR test. PCR tests may be required as part of campus protocols.
  • Anyone who is unvaccinated after being exposed to a close contact must quarantine immediately and have a PCR test again 5–7 days after their last exposure to the positive individual. A negative test does not get you out of quarantine. Total quarantine time is 10 days. Unvaccinated individuals cannot test out of the 10-day quarantine.
Non-Household Contacts:

PSU will additionally attempt to identify other close contacts of COVID positive individuals as shared with the Contact Tracing Team. However, per NH DHHS guidelines, unvaccinated/under-vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine but voluntary quarantine is optional. Voluntary quarantine housing is not available on-campus. All non-household close contacts are encouraged to observe themselves for the development of symptoms, be tested 3–5 days after last exposure, and wear a mask in indoor settings for 14 days or until receiving a negative test result. Classroom contact tracing will generally not be performed. NH DHHS Guide to Self-Observation of Symptoms is here: https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/covid19/documents/self-observation-covid.pdf

NOTE: Athletic protocols are under review and will be announced soon.

*These protocols may change throughout the semester based on number of positive cases on campus, in the local community, and the in state.