Isolation & Quarantine Housing
On-campus life is changing significantly this year due to COVID-19. All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms in addition to practicing physical distancing, using face coverings, and other safety measures to avoid exposure of others in the University community.
Across the country, regardless of age or circumstances, COVID-19 transmission has been documented most frequently in social settings. For those with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or those who have been exposed to others with confirmed cases, separation from others for a period of time is an important additional step in breaking the chain of community transmission. We all have a role to play in preventing the spread of the virus—distancing, masking, isolation, and quarantine are key steps to protect each other and our communities, especially those who are at greater risk of complications from COVID-19.
The University, Housing & Residential Life, and M Dining have developed plans to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our residential communities and dining locations. Your health and safety are our highest priority and these plans reflect guidance from campus public health leaders, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Housing will provide dedicated isolation & quarantine spaces for on-campus residential students. Providing these spaces is critical to minimize interactions between residents and to avoid exposing others to COVID-19. These spaces are not available to students living off-campus, faculty, staff, or community members.
Isolation is for students who have either tested positive or who have symptoms and are awaiting a test or test results.
Students will be released from isolation by medical professionals when they have recovered and are no longer displaying symptoms.
Quarantine is for students who have been determined to be a close contact (having spent at least 15 minutes or more and within 6 feet) of someone who has COVID-19.
Students will be released from quarantine after 14 days if they do not develop COVID-19 symptoms.
Talk with your family about the best place for you to isolate or quarantine
We strongly encourage students to talk with their families about the isolation and quarantine plans outlined here. Students and families who prefer another place to complete isolation or quarantine, such as their family home, may choose to do so. MDH provides the following guidelines for determining whether at-home or on-campus isolation or quarantine is the best option for you and your family:
- consider whether anyone in the household is at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19
- consider whether you are able to isolate or quarantine in a way that minimizes the spread of COVID-19 to others
- consider whether you can travel back home in a way that doesn’t expose others
What to do if you become ill
Any on-campus residential student feeling ill or experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness of any kind—with fever and cough—should:
- remain as isolated as possible in your assigned room to avoid spreading illness,
- complete the Boynton Health screening form
- visit boynton.umn.edu/myboynton to schedule covid testing (or contact your personal health care provider)
Boynton Health will determine when a student should be in isolation or quarantine housing, and will work with a Housing Response Team to help students choosing to remain on-campus to transition to Isolation & Quarantine Housing.
Students in isolation or quarantine will be asked to monitor their symptoms and complete a daily check-in with Boynton Health. Remember to be open and honest about your symptoms to receive the best possible support, especially if your condition changes or worsens.
Boynton will determine when the student may return to regular on-campus housing and notify the Housing Response Team. Learn more about the steps students living on campus will take with a confirmed or possible COVID-19 diagnosis.
On-campus isolation and quarantine housing
Spaces reserved for isolation and quarantine include a private bedroom, bathroom (note: some buildings may have a reserved bathroom outside of the assigned room). Transportation will be provided if the available isolation or quarantine space is outside of your assigned building/campus area.
What is provided
Isolation and quarantine rooms include a mini-refrigerator and microwave, as well as the following items:
- a personal thermometer
- two disposable face masks
- a bottle of hand sanitizer
- a box of tissues
- three bottles of water (additional water will be included with your daily food delivery)
- linen packets (two sets per room)
- towel packets (two sets per room)
- pillows (two)
- blankets (two)
- cleaner and disinfectant
- paper towels
- toilet paper
- trash can liners (also used for soiled linen and towels)
What you should bring
We recommend students needing to isolate or quarantine bring enough supplies for up to two weeks, such as:
- cell phone & charger
- laptop & charger
- textbooks, course notes, other needed supplies for courses
- toiletries (deodorant, toothbrush & paste, shampoo, body wash, etc.)
- medications (contact Boynton Pharmacy for prescription delivery options)
- personal blankets or pillows if desired
- additional face coverings
- books, video games, etc. for personal use
- preferred snacks & food to supplement provided M Dining meals
- clothing for up to two weeks
Dining and deliveries
Students in isolation & quarantine will receive a daily contactless delivery of meals from M Dining. Additional instructions and a link to place your daily meal order will be emailed once you start the isolation/quarantine process.
If students in isolation or quarantine receive mail or packages, those are delivered to their space by Housing staff via contactless delivery. Information Desks may only accept packages received through U.S. mail or by a bonded delivery service such as UPS, FedEx, etc. Students completing isolation or quarantine cannot leave their space for personal and community safety reasons, so no items may be dropped off by family, friends, or other services.
Taking care during isolation and quarantine
Completing isolation or quarantine is not only a difficult experience physically if you are ill, but one that will likely be emotionally taxing for many. While in-person contact must be limited to avoid spreading the virus, our staff are here to support your mental health as well as your physical recovery.
The Information Desk in your building is open from 7am-10pm daily. You should not visit the desk in person; instead use the main phone number to call if you need something. If you have non-urgent questions, use the building email account. This is monitored by a professional staff member daily Monday-Friday. Find contact information for each building on housing.umn.edu/contact.
Whenever our business office is closed there is a Community Advisor On Duty (weekdays: 4:30pm-8:00am; weekends: 24 hours). Students will receive an instruction packet with your building’s On Duty staff phone number.
Also, you do not need to be emotionally isolated from people in your support network. We encourage you to set up lots of calls and virtual hangouts with friends and family to ensure you are staying connected to your community.
Visit the following websites for additional campus resources and opportunities:
- Student Unions & Activities: Virtual Programs
- Student Wellbeing Guide
- Undergrad Update Resources
- Academic Success Centers