Explained: What to do if you test positive for COVID-19

Here’s WSN’s guide on how to report a positive test to NYU, move to quarantine and end your isolation period.


Ryan Walker

The NYU community is experiencing a high number of COVID-19 cases. Students can access Binx saliva tests in NYU housing. (Staff Photo and Screenshot by Ryan Walker)

Gabriel Hawthorne, Deputy News Editor

Editor’s note: This article was published in January 2022. Guidelines and requirements from NYU and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may have since changed.

As NYU returns to in-person instruction, university leadership has acknowledged that the community is likely to experience a high number of positive COVID-19 cases, consistent with the spread of the omicron variant in New York City. 

Between Jan. 17 and Jan. 23, NYU data showed only a 2.72% positivity rate, while New York City reported a 7-day average of 8% over the same period. Test positivity rates in New York City have steadily declined after their peak in early January, when COVID-19 tests were returning positive at the highest rate recorded since the pandemic began.

Those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms but have not yet received a positive test can get tested through NYU using Binx salive tests, which are available at residence halls and at other locations on campus, including the Kimmel Center for University Life, or by making an appointment to visit the university’s BioReference testing site at 50 W. Fourth St. for a nasal swab. Off-campus testing is also available at several locations across the city.

For students who test positive for COVID-19, WSN has compiled a guide to reporting test results to NYU and complying with quarantine protocol.

1. Fill out the COVID-19 Reporting Form

Students, faculty and staff must use NYU’s self-reporting form if they have symptoms of COVID-19, test positive for the virus or come in contact with someone who tests positive. (Staff Photo by Ryan Walker)

Students who test positive,  are experiencing any symptoms of the virus or have been in close contact with somebody who tested positive must fill out the university’s COVID-19 Reporting Form.

NYU’s COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team will be in contact with guidance on next steps, including isolation and quarantine. Students living in on-campus housing will also receive an email from NYU’s housing office regarding their temporary room assignment. 

2. Move to isolation

For students living in NYU housing, the CPRT will provide instructions on quarantining in the university’s designated rooms. Transportation will be provided for those who need assistance in moving to their temporary room for the 5-day quarantine period.

Students are required to wear a mask until they arrive in their temporary isolation room. According to NYU, there are rooms available in student housing, as well as several additional rooms that have been set aside for quarantine within walking distance of most residence halls.

In the email announcing NYU’s plans for the spring 2022 semester, university leadership recognized that there are limited rooms available for students to isolate or quarantine in university housing. Students who test positive may be asked to quarantine in their original room — even if others sharing the same space do not need to isolate or quarantine themselves. According to university spokesperson John Beckman, the CPRT will provide guidance to both the roommate who needs to quarantine and the roommate who does not.

Students living off campus submit their positive test results to the CPRT and quarantine in their own homes. 

3. Remain in quarantine

Students who isolate in their assigned housing or are moved to NYU’s designated rooms will receive Grubhub credits for their 5-day isolation period. They will take two Binx saliva tests delivered by housing staff while in isolation — on the first or second day and third or fourth day. All test results will need to be submitted to NYU using a link sent by the CPRT at the beginning of the quarantine period.

To leave isolation, students must complete a survey emailed by the CPRT on the fifth day after they received their positive test result or after their symptoms began. Students must be cleared in writing by the CPRT and may be required to follow additional COVID-19 safety protocols after their isolation period.

Students living off campus are required to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They must be cleared by the CPRT in order to enter NYU buildings.

4. Check out of isolation

NYU housing staff will be in contact with students with instructions on exiting quarantine, including the protocol for checking out of temporary housing, and if necessary, transportation. Those who test positive will not be required to participate in NYU’s random testing program for 90 days following their positive test.

Contact Gabriel Hawthorne at [email protected]