COVID-19 Testing and Quarantine


Whittier College follows recommendations from the Los Angeles County Department of Health and has established the following protocol for testing, isolation, and close contacts.

Updated October 26, 2022

Whittier College is offering free saliva-based COVID-19 PCR test kits for students, employees, and contracted workers through a Shield T3 PCR Test Kit Vending Machine.

When to use the PCR Test Kit Vending Machine:

  • If you are experiencing COVID-related symptoms
  • If you have been exposed to a positive case
  • If you are required to test weekly because you have received a COVID vaccination exemption or are overdue for your booster
  • PRC testing is not recommended for confirmed COVID cases seeking to end isolation before Day 10. Please see below.

Where is the PCR Test Kit Vending Machine?

  • The Shield T3 PCR Test Kit Vending Machine and Dropbox are located on the ground floor of the Wardman Library building at the North Lawn entrance. (See map.)
  • The entrance has 24-hour badge access to dispense a PCR test kit. 

How long do I have to take the test?

  • Do not test in the building. Take the kit to a safe location where you can sanitize your hands and follow the collection instructions properly.
  • Return your sample as soon as possible and no later than 48 hours from receiving your PCR test kit. 
  • Your sample must be returned to the dropbox by 1:30 pm Monday through Friday. 
  • There is no weekend pick-up. Do not collect or return your sample after 1:30 pm Fridays through 7:00 a.m. Mondays.
  • Results will be available the day after drop off. You will receive a text and a link to your results.


  • Watch THIS VIDEO for detailed instructions on how to use the machine, receive, and register your test.
  • Vending Machine Instructions
  • IMPORTANT – Preparation for saliva-based PCR testing:
    • Do not eat, drink, smoke, gargle, chew gum, or wear lipstick or lip products at least one hour before the test collection. 
    • Hydrate up to one hour before testing in order to provide a good sample. 
    • Do not forcefully spit, cough, or project into the vial. 
    • Sanitize hands before and after testing. 

Testing to end COVID-19 Isolation

  • Individuals with a confirmed case of COVID-19 who are testing to end isolation on Day 5 through Day 10 should not use the Shield T3 PCR Vending Machine. Antigen tests are recommended instead. 
  • Students should contact the Student Health & Wellness Center by calling 562.464.4548.

Isolation is required for all persons who have a positive COVID-19 viral test and/or their healthcare provider thinks they have COVID-19.

Everyone with COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, previous infection, or lack of symptoms must fulfill the following protocol. 

Stay home for at least 5 days.

Isolation can end after Day 5* ONLY if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. A COVID-19 viral test** collected on or after Day 5 or later is negative
  2. No fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicine
  3. Other symptoms are not present or are improving


Isolation can end after Day 10 if both these criteria are met:

  1. No fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicine
  2. Other symptoms are not present or are improving

While in isolation

  • Wear a well-fitting medical grade mask around others for a total of 10 days, especially in indoor settings.
  • Children should wear a well-fitting, non-cloth mask of multiple layers of non-woven material with a nose wire.
  • See for more information.
  • Tell your close contacts that they have been exposed and need to follow instructions for close contacts at
  • Follow the full isolation instructions for people with COVID-19 at

Notes to count the days

  • If you have symptoms, Day 0 is your first day of symptoms. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed.
  • If you do not have symptoms, Day 0 is the day your positive test was taken. Day 1 is the first full day after your positive test was taken.
  • **The test must be a COVID-19 viral test such as an antigen or NAAT/PCR test. An antigen test is preferred.

Close contacts who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and have no symptoms are not required to quarantine.

Anyone who shares indoor airspace with an infected person for 15 minutes or longer over a 24-hour period is considered a close contact.

Close contacts are required to:

  • Wear a highly protective mask around others while indoors and when in close contact with others while outdoors through Day 10. This includes wearing it at home or in your residence hall.
  • Get tested 3-5 days after last exposure to the positive case. Consider testing immediately, especially if you or anyone who lives with you is at increased risk for severe illness.
  • Monitor your health for 10 days. If symptoms develop, test, and stay home. If you test positive, follow isolation requirements at

Follow the full instructions for close contacts at

Note: Day 0 is the day of your last contact (exposure) with the infected person. Day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure.