Update to isolation protocols for students (Jan. 23, 2022)

Jan. 23, 2022

TO:                  Undergraduate and Graduate Students

FROM:            Irini Daskalaki, MD, University Health Services

                        Robin Izzo, Environmental Health and Safety

                        John Kolligian, University Health Services

SUBJECT:        Update to isolation protocols for students


January 23, 2022

Anticipating that our need for isolation space will exceed the capacity of the University’s designated isolation facilities, some students who test positive for COVID-19 will be instructed to isolate in their dormitory or apartment starting today.

These students will receive detailed instructions and an isolation kit soon after receiving their positive test result through the asymptomatic testing program or McCosh Health Center. Students who share a bedroom are prioritized for isolation housing.

In the unlikely event that a student who tests positive shares a bedroom with another student who tests negative and must isolate in their room, the isolation team will reach out to the roommate.

Students who are isolating in their dorm or apartment are permitted to use shared bathrooms and can leave their room briefly to pick up meals. Isolating students are required to wear a tight-fitting mask whenever leaving their designated isolation space. KN95 masks are included in their isolation kits.

It remains essential for all students to take extra care to wear masks outside their rooms or suites, especially during this period of high case rates when students may need to isolate in place.


The following questions and answers may be helpful. If you have additional general questions, you may call the COVID Connector at 609-258-7000 between 8:45 am and 10:00 pm. Please note that we are not able to confirm or identify individuals isolating in a specific location.


Who will be required to isolate in their dormitory or apartment? 

Students who share a bedroom with another student will be prioritized for isolation facilities. Most students who will isolate in place already have a single bedroom, even if it’s within a shared apartment or suite. If both or all roommates test positive, they may isolate together in their dormitory or apartment. 


Who decides that a student will isolate in their dormitory or apartment? 

University Health Services and Housing decide where the student will complete isolation. This is not the student’s choice. 


May students isolating in their dorm room or apartment leave their room? 

Students isolating in place can leave their room to pick up meals from designated areas, to access medical care, or to use a shared bathroom if they do not have their own. They are not permitted to enter other buildings, attend class, meet others in person, or participate in activities.


Are students isolating in their dormitory or apartment allowed to use shared bathrooms? 

Yes. Students isolating in place must limit their time in shared bathrooms and must wear a tight-fitting mask, removing it only briefly to brush their teeth, shower, etc. They should clean frequently-touched surfaces with disinfectant wipes provided in their isolation kits. 


My roommate just tested positive. What should I do? 

If you share a sleeping space with a student who tested positive and has not been given specific instructions for isolation, you should gather some belongings and leave the room until the student receives confirmation of their required isolation plans. Plan to be gone for up to a few hours.

In the unlikely event that the student who tested positive will need to isolate in the shared bedroom, isolation coordinators will contact the roommate who has not tested positive to arrange alternative housing during the isolation period.


What do I do if I see someone violating isolation rules? 

If you believe a student is violating isolation rules, you may contact your Director of Student Life or report it to the EthicsPoint hotline. Information must be specific to allow proper follow-up. While isolating students are not allowed to go to class, the libraries, the gyms, common spaces in residential colleges, or spend time with other people who are not isolating, they do need to access bathrooms and to pick up their meals from designated areas outside their dorm.