COVID-19 Student FAQ

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  • Students testing positive for COVID-19 should isolate at home away from others and report to Bobcat Trace.  A notice will be e-mailed to you with information on your isolation period and when it is safe to return to class or work.  Students should also contact their professors, and supervisor if applicable, to notify them that they will be away from class or work due to a medically necessary absence.  A face mask should be worn for an additional 5 days after ending isolation.

  • People are most infectious a day before symptoms of COVID-19 start and for 2-3 days thereafter.  The 5-day isolation period will include the period of highest infectivity.  However, there may be some residual contagiousness for a few more days and wearing a face mask will reduce the risk that infection will be transmitted to others.

  • After completing the recommended 5-day isolation period, students may return to class or work.  A negative COVID-19 test is not required.  However, if a student is still visibly ill, a supervisor can require the employee to leave the workplace.  Students should wear a face mask when around others for an additional 5 days after leaving isolation.

  • Getting an antigen test at the end of isolation or quarantine is recommended and a good way to determine if you are still infectious.  However, the antigen test is not required to return to class or work.  If the antigen test is positive at the end of your isolation period, you should continue isolation for another 5 days.  If the antigen test is positive at the end of your quarantine period, you should begin isolation.  For persons in quarantine who get a positive antigen test, they should get a PCR test to confirm the positive antigen test.  If the PCR test is negative, then the antigen test is considered a false-positive.

  • Reporting to Bobcat Trace ensures that you get important information about your need to isolate and the appropriate period of isolation.  Bobcat Trace will e-mail you a notice with this information that may be used to justify your need to be absent from class or work.  If you enter information about close contacts, Bobcat Trace can send them information about the possible need to quarantine without mentioning your name.  Reports to Bobcat Trace also help the university assess the incidence of COVID-19 on our campuses which is used to make decisions about operations.

  • Students should notify their professors about the need to be away from class due to a COVID-19 infection.  A Bobcat Trace notice may be helpful in explaining the need to be absent and when the student can return to class.  Students must work with professors to determine how they will keep up with class and assignments.

  • COVID-19 PCR tests are extremely sensitive and can detect an infection even before a person becomes infectious.  However, a PCR test can remain positive for weeks or months afterwards even if the person is no longer infectious.  An antigen test is not as sensitive as a PCR test but can identify persons who are infectious.  Antigen tests also provide rapid results and can be performed at home.


    Antigen tests can be used at the end of isolation or quarantine to determine if a person is infectious.  A positive test would indicate a need for further isolation.  Antigen tests are available for purchase at drug stores, retail stores and online.  Free antigen tests may be available at community centers.  Free at-home antigen tests may be requested from the federal government at Free COVID-19 Tests.

  • You should isolate in your room, wear a face mask, report to Bobcat Trace, and notify your residence hall director.  Bobcat Trace will determine the necessary isolation period based on the information you provide and e-mail a notice to you with that information.  Bobcat Trace will share information about the required isolation period with the Department of Housing and Residential Life (DHRL).  You will need to go home to complete your isolation period.  If you are an international or out-of-state student, or have other extenuating circumstances, DHRL will coordinate an on-campus isolation space if needed.

  • If you are exposed to a person during their infectious period, the need to quarantine is based on whether you are “up-to-date” with COVID-19 vaccinations.  If you have received a booster or are within 5 months of completing the Pfizer or Moderna primary series or two months of completing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you do not have to quarantine.  All others must quarantine for at least 5 days and wear a face mask for another 5 days.

  • COVID-19 vaccination is not required at Texas State.  However, COVID-19 vaccination has been shown to significantly reduce your risk for infection, severe illness and hospitalization.  COVID-19 vaccines are very safe and serious adverse effects are extremely rare.  For more information on COVID-19 vaccines available at Texas State, check TXST COVID-19 Vaccines.

  • COVID-19 Vaccines are safe and effective.  Over 535 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the United States.  Multiple systems are being used by the federal government to monitor vaccine safety.  Mild side-effects such as arm soreness, fatigue, body aches and headache are the most common adverse effects of vaccination.  Serious side-effects such as blood clots, inflammation of the heart muscle, severe muscle weakness with occasional paralysis, and severe allergic reactions are extremely rare.  The risk of blood clots or inflammation of the heart muscle are higher if infected with COVID-19.

  • Supervisors have the discretion to instruct employees reporting to them to leave the workplace if they appear ill with symptoms of COVID-19 .  Failure to follow the directive of the supervisor could result in disciplinary action.