Off-campus Quarantine and Isolation

Tips for quarantine and isolation when living off-campus

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has offered a number of official statements on how to best protect yourself, your family, friends, and your roommates. For those who live in buildings with common spaces, especially apartment dwellers, keeping safe and practicing prevention habits is a bit more difficult. It’s also important to know the difference between quarantine and isolation.

According to the CDC, if you or your roommate has or think they have COVID-19, the sick person, their roommates, and close contacts need to self-isolate – limit their use of shared spaces as much as possible. They should:

Use the information below to make a plan with your roommates for how you will handle quarantine and/or isolation if someone in your household has been in contact with someone who is sick or if one of you receive a positive diagnosis.

  1. Get talking: Use these talking points to come to an agreement about what each of you are comfortable with as it relates to living together during the pandemic.
  2. Make a plan for getting tested for COVID-19.
  3. Prepare for the possibility of quarantine and/or isolation:
    1. Make yourself a care package:
      1. Thermometer, fever reducer (acetaminophen), masks, shelf stable food and liquids to stay hydrated, disposable gloves for cleaning, disinfectants, hand soap, tissues, personal toiletries, prescriptions and medications/remedies to keep you comfortable while sick, disposable utensils and trash bags for dirty dishes and laundry, contact information of your primary care physician and Norris Health Center, entertainment, and anything you think you might need if you staying in your room for 2 weeks.
    2. Review steps to take if you are sick from the CDC
    3. Stay on top of your laundry to ensure you have enough clean clothes for the duration of quarantine/isolation.
    4. Decide how you will handle the bathroom situation and cleaning protocol if you only have one bathroom.
      1. If you need to share a bathroom with someone who is sick, the person who is sick should wear a mask while using the rest room, and clean and disinfect the frequently touched surfaces in the bathroom after each use. If this is not possible, the person who does the cleaning should:
      2. Open outside doors and windows before entering and use ventilating fans to increase air circulation in the area.
      3. Wait as long as possible before entering the room to clean and disinfect or to use the bathroom.
      4. Use only disposable hand towels and each person should bring and remove their own toiletries from the bathroom for each visit.
    5. Consider your meal plan: grocery delivery, meal delivery service, etc.
    6. Make a plan to have family and friends check in via phone/video chat with you daily. Ask if they are willing to no contact deliver essentials to your doorstep if needed.
    7. Have a back-up plan to ensure your bills get paid if you are sick. Consider enrolling your services and utilities in auto pay.
    8. Consider a plan of care for your pets if you get sick.
    9. Have a plan for daily cleaning of the high touch areas of the house (light switches, door handles, etc.)

Information last updated 9/25/2020 at 1:30pm.