Quarantine (as defined by the CDC) is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick, particularly if they are infected without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.
At Washington University, students will be required to quarantine for specific reasons as determined by the CDC, St. Louis County Department of Public Health and Habif Health and Wellness Center.
Isolation (as defined by the CDC) keeps someone who is infected with the virus away from others.
Quarantine and isolation housing will be provided for WashU students assigned to Residential Life housing. Students will be moved to living spaces specifically designated for quarantine or isolation. Students will be moved for the safety of themselves and others, and to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and remain asymptomatic do not have to quarantine. Students living off campus who are required to quarantine or be isolated as a result of COVID-19 will do so in their own space, and in a few cases, could be approved to move to on-campus quarantine or isolation housing.
Quarantine and Isolation FAQs
Scroll to the next section for Parent, Family & Caregiver General Questions and Overview
Why do I have to quarantine or isolate?
Unvaccinated students who are known to have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and identified by public health officials as needing a quarantine period are required to quarantine for up to 10 days. The university will provide on-campus quarantine housing to residential students.
Isolation is used to separate people who have contracted the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected. To minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community, COVID-positive students must have a space where they can recover comfortably without coming into contact with other people in our community. Students in isolation housing are monitored by staff from the Habif Health and Wellness Center. The university will provide on-campus isolation housing to residential students.
Do I have a contact for questions or other concerns if I’m in on-campus quarantine or isolation housing?
- For emergencies requiring an ambulance, call WUPD: 314-935-5555
- Habif Health and Wellness Center inquiries: 314-935-4959, Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
- After 4 p.m. or weekends: Please call Quarantine and Isolation Housing Team at 314-935-0166 and press Option 3 to have the Habif provider on call paged.
- Quarantine and Isolation Housing Team: CovidHousing@email.wustl.edu or 314-935-0166.
- Maintenance, housekeeping or technical issues, please click here and complete the appropriate form. Please note a face mask must be worn when room entry is required to resolve an issue.
- Dining Services inquiries: email@example.com or 314-935-7098
You will need to complete this Dining Survey upon arrival to initiate food & beverage delivery: https://wustl.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9QtbcPQXEJxqYwB
Am I allowed to leave my room while in quarantine or isolation?
The only exception is for medical care, COVID-19 testing or if you are picking up a delivery (deliveries are for students in quarantine only). For students who are identified as exposed or positive, remaining in your room reduces the likelihood of further community spread.
Am I able to go home to quarantine or isolate?
You cannot take public transportation if you are under St. Louis County isolation or quarantine orders. This will preclude many students from leaving campus. Students who have access to private transportation and a living space where they can successfully and fully isolate from contact with others by using food delivery services and avoiding public spaces may complete their quarantine or isolation at an off campus location.
The university has reserved beds on campus to use as quarantine and isolation housing for residential students. These spaces will be available to students who are not able to quarantine or isolate in their existing rooms due to shared bathrooms or other considerations. If additional capacity is needed, we will pursue other available options, which we have already tentatively identified.
Will I have a roommate in quarantine or isolation housing if I’m an on-campus student?
If necessary, we will room students in isolation together as they are already positive for COVID-19 and having a roommate does not impact spread. This will only occur if all single isolation spaces are occupied and it will be for the shortest amount of time possible or if students who know each other request this. If a student is in quarantine housing due to exposure, you will have your own room and your own bathroom. (Although your room/bathroom may be equipped to accommodate additional students, no additional students will be using these facilities while you are there.)
Am I allowed to have visitors?
No. Visitors are not allowed in quarantine or isolation housing.
How will I get my personal items?
Please make sure you have all of the items you will need as you will not be permitted to return to your room/residence. The Quarantine and Isolation Housing Team has provided a suggested packing list for your convenience. You will be provided with this list and additional guidance on moving to your quarantine location when you receive your temporary assignment.
Please make sure to take with you the following:
____ Clothes (including pajamas, undergarments, socks, etc.)
_____Computer, webcam (if available), and charger
_____Phone and charger
_____Prescription medications and/or over-the-counter medications (including pain/fever reducers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, or cough suppressants, if available). Make sure you have enough for at least 14 days.
_____Toiletries (shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, comb, brush, etc.)
_____Personal care items
_____All books, notes, etc. needed to complete your coursework – this will be done online
_____Cloth face mask to be worn once isolation is complete and you return to your dorm room/residence.
Linens will be provided for you (bed sheets and towels).
What do I do if I run out of a personal item or supply that I need while in university-provided quarantine and isolation housing?
Students can complete the Quarantine and Isolation Housing Request form found in their check-in email instructions. The Quarantine and Isolation Housing Team will review your request within 3 business days from the date of submission Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Please check your email for further instructions once your request is submitted.
How do I get food and drinks?
Two deliveries will be provided for you outside your door at the following times daily by Dining Services:
- Lunch at noon
- Dinner with continental breakfast for the following morning at 5 p.m.
Dining Services will work with you to accommodate any dietary needs that fall outside of one of the pre-set menu options. Meal deliveries will include drinks and snacks as well as utensils/condiments. WashU Dining Services will charge $25 or meal points per day for quarantine/isolation meals and delivery. If you do not have available funds, Dining Services has a food security fund and other additional resources available to assist. Dining Services can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I dispose of my trash?
Please use the garbage bags provided to empty your trash daily. Students in quarantine or isolation should place the tied-up bag outside your door every morning before noon. Housekeeping will collect your trash for disposal, so you do not have to leave your room.
What guidance is provided to those in quarantine or isolation?
The Habif-affiliated Isolation and Contact Tracing Team will be in contact regularly via email, Zoom appointments or phone to monitor your health.
The CDC recommends the following for those in quarantine to monitor your health and practice physical distancing:
- Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
- Take your temperature with a thermometer twice a day and monitor for fever (temperature above 100.4° F). Also watch for cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- If possible, stay away others, especially people who are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.
Who can I talk to about the financial impacts of quarantine or isolation?
You may contact Student Financial Services for assistance. Please call your SFS counselor and tell them your situation. Based on your situation, they will let you know how they can help. They will continually update information on https://financialaid.wustl.edu/covid19
How do I request an ADA accommodation for my housing needs?
If you require accommodations, please work with Disability Resources at 314-935-5970 or https://students.wustl.edu/disability-resources/
Who should I call if I need medical attention or I start to have symptoms?
Please contact Habif Health and Wellness Center at 314-935-4959 Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. For assistance after 4 p.m. or weekends: Please contact the Quarantine and Isolation Housing Team and follow the prompts for Option 3 to have the Habif provider on call paged. If you want to report non-urgent symptoms after hours, please email email@example.com. This email is checked daily and you will receive a call from our nurse within 24 hours, 7 days a week.
What if there’s a fire and I need to evacuate?
If you hear the fire alarm system sound, please evacuate the building immediately, wear a mask properly and be sure to maintain appropriate social distancing in the emergency assembly point noted on the evacuation plans.
How do I report a maintenance or housekeeping issue?
For maintenance, housekeeping or technical issues, please click here and complete the appropriate form. Please note a face mask must be worn when room entry is required to resolve an issue.
Will you enter my room for cleaning or to clean my restroom?
Maintenance and housekeeping will enter the space for emergency-related work orders and requests only.
What mental health resources are available to me while I’m in quarantine or isolation?
Phone access to a licensed mental health clinician is available 24/7 while in isolation or quarantine. The direct number is posted in each room. Our nurses will ask how you are coping and can assist you with connecting to a mental health provider if needed. You can also email Habif at firstname.lastname@example.org to assist you with connecting to a mental health provider.
When am I done with my quarantine or isolation?
Habif will contact you when your quarantine period has ended.
Where do I go when I’m done with quarantine or isolation?
You can return to your regular housing assignment once you’ve been notified by Habif that you have been cleared from quarantine or isolation.
Once I have finished my quarantine or isolation, what do I need to do?
Please refer to the check-out instructions provided to you from the initial email from the Quarantine and Isolation Housing Team.
I’m concerned about my privacy. Who will know I’m in quarantine or isolation?
Student information is protected by FERPA and medical information is protected by HIPAA. However, during a public health emergency, information may be shared with public health agencies on a need-to-know basis only.
Can I leave quarantine or isolation for any reason?
Students in quarantine and isolation are required to remain in their assigned temporary spaces except to access medical care or COVID-19 testing. Students who are in quarantine housing may also leave their temporary space between the hours of 7:30 p.m.-6 a.m. to pick up a delivery brought to the building. Students should remain in their rooms and follow all health and safety procedures.
St. Louis County guidance regarding being outside during quarantine or isolation states:
You may walk outside of your dwelling on your own property or leasehold but shall not come within six feet of other people.
Parent, Family & Caregiver General Questions and Overview
What are quarantine and isolation housing?
- Quarantine housing is for unvaccinated individuals who have been in close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive or for individuals who feel ill. These students need to live in a private space with a private bathroom in order to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 to others. Additionally, this allows our Habif Health and Wellness staff to monitor the symptoms and overall health of the student closely. Quarantine lasts up to two weeks. During quarantine, a student will be asked to take COVID-19 tests.
- Isolation housing is for Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and need a place to recover where they are not in contact with individuals without COVID-19 and can be monitored daily by Habif Health and Wellness staff.
Does my student have to go into quarantine or isolation housing?
- Yes. Current public health policies from WashU and county officials apply to all undergraduate, graduate and professional students. These policies include following the direction of Habif Health and Wellness in regards to quarantine and isolation housing. All students were required to complete an online public health training module in Canvas at the beginning of the academic year.
When will my student get released from quarantine or isolation housing?
- Habif Health and Wellness works with county public health officials and CDC guidelines in order to determine when a student is able to be released from quarantine or isolation housing. If you have specific questions regarding how or when a student is cleared, please contact Habif Health and Wellness at 314-935-4959 or email email@example.com.
Where is quarantine and isolation housing located?
- Millbrook apartments
Will my student be billed for housing?
- Students are not billed any additional cost for housing while in quarantine and isolation housing. This applies to students who live on-campus or off-campus. The only cost associated with quarantine and isolation housing is the $25 per day fee for meals.
What items are provided to my student during their stay?
- Two towels and two washcloths
- Extra-Long, Twin Bed with sheets and summer blanket
- Room Key Packet
- Check-in email with all information needed for move-in
- Masks will be available in case a student forgets
- Meal and snack delivery ($25 per day charge, more information below)
Will my student have a roommate in quarantine or isolation housing?
Students in quarantine cannot have a roommate. Students in isolation could have a roommate though we prioritize everyone having their own private apartment space to recover. Isolated students may be housed together only when all single isolation spaces are occupied and for the shortest amount of time possible or in cases where the students request a roommate. Students in isolation are all confirmed positive and having a roommate would not impact the spread of COVID-19.
Meals and Food
How will my student receive meals and food?
- Students in WashU on-campus quarantine or isolation housing will receive meal deliveries from Dining Services during their stay. Meals will be delivered to each room during each meal period (as defined below). Upon intake to quarantine or isolation housing, students will select a menu for their stay as well as indicate any other dietary needs they may have.
Will my student be charged for delivered food?
- Yes. Dining Services will charge students $25 per day for meals and snacks. If the student has a meal plan, the $25 will be deducted from their meal plan points. If the student does not have a meal plan, the $25 will be added to their student account.
- If your student needs financial assistance for meals, please have them reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What types of meals and snacks are available to my student?
- Upon entry into quarantine or isolation housing, students will be asked to fill out a Dining Services survey, which will indicate to our Dining Services staff if the student has any special dietary needs. To prepare for as many needs as possible, Dining Services has worked with our nutritionists to prepare the following standard menu options:
- Top-8 Allergen Friendly
- Dining Services will work with students one-on-one to accommodate any dietary needs that fall outside of one of the pre-set menu options listed above. Meal deliveries will include drinks, snacks and plasticware/condiments. All meals will be packaged and delivered outside of each student’s door in a bag labeled with the room number. If a student has any needs, they can contact email@example.com to contact the manager overseeing the program
- Menus can be found at diningservices.wustl.edu/quarantine-isolation-info.
- GrubHub Option – Students in quarantine/isolation housing will have the option to order through GrubHub to choose their own items from the campus menu. Dining Services has created a quarantine/isolation menu that includes many items from the Bear’s Den to allow students to better customize their stay. Orders for the following day must be placed between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. in order for our staff to receive the order and add it to the meal delivery schedule. If a student orders through GrubHub it will replace their standard meal. They can order breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is no additional charge to students for ordering their meals.
When are meals delivered?
- Meals will be delivered outside each student’s door:
- Breakfast 8-9 a.m.
- Lunch noon-1 p.m.
- Dinner 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Health and well-being
How is the health and well-being of my student being monitored?
- The Habif Health and Wellness Center regularly checks in with all students in isolation and quarantine housing via Zoom appointments, phone calls and email surveys.
- Students can call Habif at 314-935-4959 Monday-Friday, or have the Res Life Team at 314-249-9611 page the on-call provider if they need consultation regarding their symptoms after hours.
What mental health services are available to my student? These resources are available to students while in quarantine and isolation housing:
- Mental Health Services (MHS) at WashU: 314-935-6695
- After-Hours support: 314-935-6666, follow the prompts
- Students can also contact Provident, a mental health provider with which WashU has partnered, 24 hours a day for any mental health needs. Students are provided this phone number in their check-in email and on a flier in their quarantine or isolation housing room on campus.
- Crisis Text Line: text “HOME” to 741741, if you are a POC (person of color), you can text “STEVE” to 741741 to get connected to a counselor
- Uncle Joe’s Peer Counselors: 314-935-5099
- Let’s Talk: free, brief, drop-in virtual consultations with MHS counselors
My student lives off campus and does not have a car. How are they expected to get to quarantine or isolation housing?
Medical transportation is provided for students off campus to come to quarantine or isolation housing.
Can my student receive a care package while in quarantine or isolation?
- Students can request a package to be delivered by filling out the request form that was emailed to them in their check-in package. A request form does not mean instant approval. The Quarantine and Isolation Housing Team will review the request and provide a status update on the request within 3 business days from the date of submission.
What if my student has religious observances that occur while they are in quarantine and isolation housing?
- If your student has a religious observance that would require any accommodations, please let the Quarantine and Isolation Housing Team know by emailing CovidHousing@email.wustl.edu. The Quarantine and Isolation Housing Team works in close collaboration with the Office for Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life in order to meet the religious needs of students in quarantine and isolation housing.
Will my student be excused from class?
- Yes, if needed. As part of our check-in process for quarantine and isolation housing, the appropriate academic staff are notified that a student may not be able to be physically or virtually present for classes.
Who can I talk to with specific questions?
- You can reach out to the Quarantine and Isolation Housing Team by emailing CovidHousing@email.wustl.edu.