Faculty, Postdocs & Staff – Testing Positive, Quarantine & Isolatio

Test Result Notification

Faculty, postdoctoral trainees, and staff participating in the on-campus testing program can get their test results from the self-service portal.

Access test results:

  1. Go to the COVID Results application.
  2. Click on the login icon in the upper right-hand corner.
  3. Enter PennKey and Password.

Participants who test positive are contacted and connected to care and contact tracing. Faculty and staff have access to COVID Watch, a Penn Medicine program that provides automated remote monitoring for COVID-19 patients isolating at home. COVID Watch checks in to see how they are feeling and quickly identifies patients who need medical attention and escalates their care to a provider or emergency department.

If you test positive and/or have had an exposure:

First and foremost, no one is ever penalized for being sick or exposed to a communicable illness. Your privacy and ability to maintain an active role in the public health process is of utmost importance.

After testing positive, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation are some of the many ways the University is helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the Penn community. Those who test positive will be sent a text message and connected to care and contact tracing teams.

Those who have had a positive COVID-19 test in the past 90 days should test if new symptoms present. Individuals should use PennOpen Pass every day in case new symptoms or exposures arise during the 90-day period.

Notify Your Manager or Chair

Participants who test positive should notify their managers or chairs of their absence. If performing remote work, those who test positive may continue to work if able.

Clearance for Work

Occupational Medicine follows existing protocols for clearing participants to return to work or class based on time, symptoms, and other clinical considerations.

Visit the Public Health Guidance page for up-to-date information about quarantine and isolation guidance. 

Contact Tracing

A contact tracer will follow up with anyone who tests positive to ensure the person isolates and gets the needed healthcare. The contact tracer will also ask about activities leading up to infection and the contacts they may have had. These conversations are thorough, nuanced, and require collaboration between the individual and contact tracer.

The notification of contacts is performed without identifying the source and notifies others who have had high-risk exposure.

  • One goal of contact tracing is to trace and monitor contacts of infected people.
  • The second goal is to support the quarantine of contacts to prevent additional transmission.

Close contacts are identified as housemates, roommates, intimate partners, and those who spent 15+ minutes within 6 feet of a confirmed case.

In the case of clinical and lab settings, PPE often mitigates the risk of proximity and length of exposure. In these cases, the contact tracing team will ask very detailed questions about these interactions to ensure the appropriate risk is assigned. These risk levels vary as public health guidance changes. Working collaboratively with the contact tracer is critical.

Flow chart: PDF icon Contact Tracing Process

Quarantine and Isolation

Visit the Public Health Guidance page for up-to-date information about quarantine and isolation guidance. 


Quarantine means separating a healthy person or group of healthy people away from others due to exposure to a contagious disease.

A recommendation to quarantine includes the advice to stay at home, limit the sharing of bathrooms and common areas (e.g. kitchens, living rooms) with others, increase cleaning of common areas, and physically distance from others in your home or apartment as much as possible. Individuals who are asked to quarantine should not travel, go to class, work, or participate in any social activities. They should not host friends or gatherings, and they should not attend gatherings.

In quarantine, food and groceries should be ordered online and delivered as much as possible, or have meals and groceries dropped off by family and friends. Wear a mask or face covering anytime you are not alone.

Isolation means staying at home, alone in your bedroom, except to use the bathroom. All people in isolation should order food in or ask a friend/family member/roommate to drop off groceries or a meal. Masks or facial coverings must be worn anytime you are outside of the bedroom. Do not travel, go to class, to work, or participate in any social activities. Do not host friends or gatherings. Do not attend gatherings.

University faculty, postdocs, and staff are asked to follow proper public health guidance and to follow up with their primary care physician if they are feeling unwell or their symptoms worsen.