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FAQ: Quarantine Details for Students

Information for students and families

Updated February 22, 2021

Learn the basics about what it means to quarantine, and see specific details for those in University-managed quarantine or isolation.

Quarantine overview

Quarantining and isolating means you have to stay in separate housing while you might be or become contagious. Important things to note while you are in your quarantine/isolation (Q/I) area:

  • You cannot leave your Q/I area. You cannot go to work or school, participate in social activities, or visit any public places. You’re not allowed to leave your Q/I area any time with the strict exception of emergencies, such as fire alarms.
  • A Q/I order is a legally-enforceable health order. Violating a health order may result in charges before a court of law, in addition to potential University sanctions.
  • UHS will take care of you. University Health Services (UHS) doctors and nurses will be taking care of you while you’re in University-managed Q/I.
  • If you develop a fever (temperature measured at or above 38 degress C/100.4 degrees F), chest pain, or difficulty breathing, it’s very important that you call UHS, regardless of the time of day or night. When UHS offices are closed, a UHS physician is on-call and available by phone for urgent concerns. In an emergency, call Public Safety. UHS will provide you with a thermometer if you don’t have one.
  • You must wear a mask. If someone else, such as a health care professional or repair person, enters your Q/I space, you need to be wearing a mask to protect them as well as yourself.


If you have been in a situation that put you at risk of contracting COVID-19, then you are also at risk of passing the virus on to others. In order to prevent this, you need to stay away from those who are not immune to it—which is almost everyone.

University-managed quarantine guidelines

Our Quarantine and Isolation Guide, along with the FAQs below, provide more details and answer questions for those in University-managed quarantine at a local hotel or at Whipple Park.

This guide can help you as you prepare, and are in, quaratine or isolation at either a local hotel or Whipple Park. A message from the Campus Culture & Care Committee may offer additional support.

UHS will notify you when your test results are available, usually within 48 to 72 hours.

If your test is negative, you will be released from isolation immediately.

If your test result is positive, you will need to stay in isolation for at least 10 days; you must be fever-free for 72 hours prior to moving back to campus. UHS will be in daily communication with you during this time.

New 2/22 It is the opinion of the University of Rochester, in consultation with the Monroe County Department of Public Health, that the assigned departure date means staying through the end of that calendar day. For example, if the date is listed as “through 2/7/2021,” this means staying through the end of that day (11:59 p.m. on Feb. 7).

If the student wishes to depart their quarantine or isolation space at the stroke of midnight and has a ride, they are free to do so. Alternatively, they are welcome to stay until the next morning when, depending on the location of their Q&I, University-provided transportation will be available. All are asked to depart by noon so that the room can be cleaned and prepared for the next guest. Please advise the gatekeeper at Whipple Park or the front desk of the hotel when you have departed.

New 2/22 The quarantine or isolation tentative end date is established by a case investigator or contact tracer based upon the information you provide them, and other factors such as test dates and symptoms. In many cases, students are subject to two investigations/contact tracings: one by University Health Service (UHS) and a second by either the New York State Department of Health or Monroe County Department of Public Health. If the student provides honest and consistent answers to all parties, the results should match within a day. We have found that inconsistent answers may result in state/county quarantine or isolation end dates, which are considerably longer than what UHS provided.

When there is a discrepancy, the state/county date supersedes the University’s finding as it is a binding legal health order. Should the dates vary by more than two days, contact UHS so that they can review your case with the state/county.

New 2/22 Quarantines due to exposure or travel must be completed alone in University-provided quarantine or isolation housing, regardless of location (Whipple Park or a hotel), as per CDC and New York State guidance.

Two individuals who are both confirmed to be positive with COVID-19 may request to be placed into the same apartment at Whipple Park or hotel room, subject to availability. Note that each individual has a different isolation end date and one may depart sooner than the other. Any changes in end date are subject to each individual’s circumstances including symptoms. One person cannot make the other “more positive” or delay the other’s end-date. Requests to share a room can be made via UHS and will be determined by the University’s Quarantine & Isolation Management Team based upon room availability. In some cases, due to limited space availability, the University reserves to right to place multiple positive people into the same room, even if they don’t know each other.

A quarantine case cannot share a room with an isolation case.

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