Isolation Protocol

New protocol for isolation—January 2022

As we move into the spring semester, we are making a few changes to improve how we handle isolation housing. These changes will make the management of COVID-19 cases on campus more sustainable while keeping the risk of spread low.

COVID-19 positive students will isolate in place whenever possible, rather than moving to a different location on campus or off. This enables students to be in their own room, with their own belongings, and have access to Wi-Fi, campus dining, medical staff, etc.

For this to be effective, students will be expected to significantly limit their contact with others while remaining isolated in their assigned bedroom on campus. We will use the following approach for students who test positive:

  • Students who live in singles:
    • Students who live in single rooms (including half-occupied doubles and two-room doubles) will isolate in their own room. While in their room they cannot have visitors and they cannot enter other students’ rooms or common areas in the residence halls. They must remain masked at all times outside of their own bedroom. They may leave their room only to go to the bathroom, to go outside their building by themselves (masked and 12’ of distance from others), or to pick up food at a designated meal pick-up location from Usdan.
    • When at least one student in a residence hall is positive and isolating in the building, residents will be notified that one of the bathrooms in the building is designated solely for isolating students (a sign will be placed on the door). Students living on the floor with the designated isolation bathroom will use the bathrooms on the floors above or below while their bathroom is designated for isolation.
    • When the building no longer has students isolating, the sign on the designated isolation bathroom will be removed, and the bathroom will return to general use.
    • Students using the designated isolation bathroom during the isolation period are expected to use the provided disinfectant solution to wipe down fixtures used in the bathroom. The bathroom will also be periodically cleaned by custodial staff.


  • Students who live in doubles or triples:
    • If a positive student has roommates, the positive student will be moved to designated on-campus isolation housing or hotel isolation housing if available (consistent with what we have done thus far this year).
    • If the positive student’s roommate(s) subsequently become positive during the 5-day isolation period, the positive student will be moved back to their room to isolate with their positive roommate(s). Bathroom protocols are as noted above.

 

  • Students who live in wood frames, apartments, and program houses:
    • The above protocols will apply except if the positive student is isolating within the apartment/house in a single bedroom or if two students in a double are positive, as noted above, in which case the students will isolate in the apartment/house and will share the single occupancy bathroom. Students will be required to use the bathroom one at a time, wear masks when possible, and use the provided disinfectant solution to wipe down fixtures used in the bathroom.

 

This approach to isolation has been used effectively on other campuses this year and helps us move to a more long-term approach to living with COVID-19. We will continue to monitor this plan and may make modifications, as necessary. While the incidence of COVID-19 may increase with the advent of the Omicron variant, as a fully vaccinated and boosted campus, we expect that students who contract COVID-19 will experience mild illness not unlike the seasonal flu. These steps outlined here can minimize the disruption of students who need to isolate while taking precautions to reduce the likelihood of the spread of COVID-19.