What To Do If ...

Here's where to find answers to questions you may still have after exploring the main sections. 

Questions on Testing & Exposure

I tested positive. How do I report it?

Use the Self-Reporting Form located on the AU Forward portal (and also linked at top of this page and on the AU sign-in page.) You must Self-Report whether you tested on-campus or off-campus. 

This Self-Reporting Form is also where you indicate to AU who else on campus may have been exposed - e.g., your close contacts. 

I tested positive within the last 90 days. Can I take a PCR test on campus?

Please do NOT take a PCR test within 90 days of a positive Covid test, due to the chance of false positives. (Note: This refers to taking a PCR test; it does not refer to getting a booster. You may receive boosters or vaccinations within 90 days of a positive test.)

I'm concerned I may have symptoms of Covid-19. Can I still test at AU? 

Yes. You can test on campus, but please refrain from participating in other campus activities while experiencing symptoms. You must follow all health and safety protocols, including masking and distancing. You may also test off-campus and use the Self-Reporting form to report your results to AU.

I’m experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19. Should I still attend my classes?

No. If you are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, you should self-isolate and obtain a COVID-19 PCR test at the on-campus COVID-19 testing clinic or off-campus (and report any positive results).

I was exposed, but not told to quarantine. Can I take extra precautions? For instance, can students have excused class absences for in-person classes until they receive a negative test result?

If you are not experiencing symptoms associated with Covid-19 and are fully vaccinated, you are expected to continue your campus activities, including attending class. Self-monitor and test if you are concerned, but if you are not symptomatic, continue going to class, while masking with a KN95 or N95 mask as always.

I'm feeling unwell, but tested negative with a PCR test. What should I do?

If you received a negative PCR test, it is unlikely that you have a Covid-19 infection. Please work with your healthcare provider for more information about your health status and when you may safely resume daily activities.

If you have symptoms associated with COVID-19 and tested negative with an antigen test, you should follow up with a PCR test because they are more sensitive.

My off-campus roommate, housemate, or family member tested positive, but I can't realistically separate from them. What should I do?

If you are fully vaccinated and unable to separate from you roommate, housemate, significant other, etc., you are not required to quarantine or self-isolate unless you are experiencing symptoms. You must take a Covid-19 PCR at the time you are identified as a close contact and continue to test every 3-4 days during the positive individual’s isolation period. You are also required to take a final PCR test 3-5 days after their last day in isolation.

Please self-monitor for symptoms throughout the positive individual’s isolation period and for 14 days after they have been cleared from isolation.

If you are NOT fully vaccinated and unable to separate from your roommate, housemate, significant other, etc., you are required to get tested immediately when you are identified as a close contact. You will begin quarantine immediately and continue to quarantine throughout the isolation period of the person with Covid-19, and for an additional 10 days starting the day after the end of isolation for the person with COVID-19. You will need to get tested again 5-7 days after the end of isolation of the infected household member.

I was told that I need to test due to being a close contact. Am I required to test on campus?

You are not required to get tested on campus, but we highly recommend that you do. Tests on campus are saliva-based PCR tests, available on a walk-in basis, and are free of charge to the AU community. Results are typically sent within 24 hours of test collection, and positive results are automatically sent to AU’s Covid-19 response team for follow-up.

I was instructed to take a Covid-19 test and the campus test center is closed. Where else can I test?

Off-campus test locations can be found on the CVS Minute Clinics, the District of ColumbiaMaryland, and Virginia Coronavirus websites.

If you test positive at an off-campus test site, you are required to to self-report the result. This will trigger the appropriate university protocols.

I was exposed to someone who tested positive, but I missed the post-exposure testing window. What should I do?

You should still get a Covid-19 PCR test as soon as possible.

Questions on Vaccination Protocols

I tested positive for Covid within the past 90 days. Do I still need to vaccinate and/or have a booster shot?


AU follows CDC guidelines, and CDC guidelines do NOT call for individuals to refrain from vaccinating or boosting after testing positive. If you are actively contagious, you must isolate and receive your vaccine or booster after your isolation period. But a recent Covid positive test does not exempt an individual from a vaccine or booster.

I'm unsure of my vaccination status and whether it's on file with AU. How do I check?

Students, go to the Student Health Portal > My Profile > Download Immunization History. You will see your COVID-19 vaccination proof there if it is on file with the university.

What if I'm partially but not fully vaccinated by the deadline?

Submit partial proof of vaccination. Upload your proof of vaccination as soon as possible, even if you will not have completed all doses. If you will not complete both doses by arrival, upload proof of your first dose. 

“Partially vaccinated” means that you have received only one dose of a two-dose vaccine and/or 14 days have not passed since your final dose of a vaccine series. "Fully vaccinated" means you have received both doses. (It does not refer to booster shots; "up to date" or "boosted" means you have received your booster. )

What if a student doesn't submit proof of vaccination status by the deadline?

Students who have not submitted proof that they are fully or partially vaccinated (e.g. two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, one dose of J&J, or WHO-approved vaccine) and who do not have an approved medical or religious exemption will risk significant academic disruption, including the inability to progress in registering or attending classes.

I have no presence on campus, but will participate in an AU program overseas (such as Study Abroad.) Do I need to comply with the vaccine requirement?

Yes. All students, faculty and staff members participating in an AU-authorized or organized program with overseas travel (such as Study Abroad, immersion programs, etc.) must follow the vaccine protocols. This is to protect the health and safety of our community members in these programs who may be traveling to countries with ongoing community spread of COVID-19. 

Questions on Other Issues

I'm a faculty or staff member with more questions. Is there a page that might address them?

Yes. Detailed answers to a wide range of faculty- and staff-related questions, from classroom management to office protocols, are found on the Faculty and Staff FAQs page.

Faculty & Staff FAQs

I have questions related to travel. Where can I find answers?

Questions related to travel - from university travel policy to travel advisories to Study Abroad - are addressed on the Travel and Study Abroad FAQs page.

Travel & Study Abroad FAQs

I have questions related to work life during Covid. Where can I find answers?

Answers to questions about work and leave scenarios, hybrid work, core days, and other AU employment-related issues - which may not be addressed in the Faculty and Staff FAQs - can be found in Human Resource's How We Work section.

How We Work

Contact Information

More questions? For specific issues not addressed on this page, please email: covidhealth@american.edu