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Wait, what? I can be released from quarantine in 10 days compared to 14? Is this too good to be true? – Unfortunately, in most cases it is too good to be true to get a reduced quarantine. However, it is possible to shorten the timeline a little if you fall within certain criteria pertaining to your exposure to the virus. 

To recap: Quarantine asks a healthy person who had close contact with someone infected with COVID-19 to stay home to avoid becoming sick. If you have came in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you must quarantine for 14 days. Call Ask-A-Nurse at 507.457.2292 with any COVID-19 questions. 

The CDC has updated their quarantine guidelines to those who have minimal exposure with a confirmed case an early release out of quarantineHealth & Wellness Services is adopting these guidelines with help from the Minnesota Department of Health, and are implementing them into our practices. Our clinical staff is already working hard with our students to find opportunities for early release. 

However, there specific criteria that one must meet to be able to get a reduced quarantine sentence. A 14-day quarantine is still the gold standard and will be the general rule of thumb for most COVID-19 cases.  

10 Day Quarantine Timeline

Criteria for Early Release

  • You Must be Asymptomatic or have no symptoms. If you develop symptoms during any time during your quarantine, you must isolate immediately and call Ask-A-Nurse at 507.457.2292. 
  • You Must NOT Currently Live with the Person Who Has Exposed You to COVID-19. This means that all students living with roommates who currently have COVID-19 (on- & off-campus) are not eligible for an early release.
  • You Must Have Had a One-Time Contact with a Confirmed Case. If you have only had one time close contact – then you may qualify for early release.  This sounds easier said than done. Most likely you will be exposed to the virus from someone close to you–a roommate or significant other–where you have had multiple contacts. 

How to Get an Early Release

If are currently quarantining and you feel as though you meet the criteria for an early release, please contact Ask-A-Nurse at to provide an explanation of how you have met each of the criteria.  

Factors for Ineligibility

  • Currently Working in a Health Care. If you working in a health care setting, unfortunately you do not qualify for early release. 
  • Currently Living with Someone Who has COVID-19 (on- & off-campus). 
  • Tested earlier than 5 days after exposure. Timing is key to capturing the virus, if you test to early the results will have no effecon determining an early release.

The 7-day quarantine is not recommended for college students as advised by the Minnesota Department of Health. 

Student athletes may have stricter criteria regarding an early release from quarantine compared to a typical student these guidelines come from the Minnesota Department of Health in association with WSU Athletics and Health & Wellness Services. 

During Quarantine

It is recommended to get tested at least 5 days after exposure, ideally on day 7 or laterTiming is key to capturing the virus. If you test positive at any time during your quarantine, please self-isolate immediately and call Ask-A-Nurse. 

If you meet the criteria for an early release, please remember to continue to watch for symptoms for 14 days after exposure. 

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Amy Nelson

Amy Nelson graduated in 2020 with a degree in Art: I-Design. As a student, she worked with the University Marketing & Communications team as a writer and photographer. She was hired after graduation to support public health communications during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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