Carnegie Mellon University

Isolation & Quarantine in University Housing

Updated August 25, 2022
Please note that the information on this page represents the most up-to-date expectations and resources for residential students, and will be updated as needed over the course of the academic year.

Students living in University Housing are expected to follow the symptoms and reporting requirements that are in place for the entire campus community. If you have a positive test result, the reporting system will guide you through a brief survey regarding symptoms and test date. You will then receive an email with individualized guidance regarding instructions for isolating, notification of close contacts, and the return to classes/activities process at the end of isolation.

Consistent with current CDC guidance for colleges and universities, residential students who test positive will be instructed to isolate in place in their currently assigned rooms, suites or apartments. Based on our experience with this approach during the 2022 spring and summer terms, we are confident that our residents can navigate their positive test result and recovery in place in a resilient manner in keeping with how residents have historically navigated communicable illnesses such as the flu or mononucleosis. A variety of resources, most notably the housefellows, are available to assist residents in doing so.

  • While isolating, you may only leave your room to use the bathroom, retrieve pre-ordered meals or groceries (see below), or go to an appointment with University Health Services (UHS) or other healthcare provider. When leaving your room, you must wear a high-quality well-fitting facial covering at all times.
  • You may not attend classes or other in-person gatherings of any kind. Your faculty will be ready to assist you in making flexible academic plans during your isolation, as will your academic advisor, associate dean and housefellow.
  • You may not utilize residence hall common spaces such as lounges, community kitchens, fitness rooms and laundry facilities.
  • You (and your roommates) may not have visitors to your room, and you may not visit others’ rooms.
  • You must remain isolating in place until you have been cleared to end your isolation period as indicated by the online reporting system or UHS staff.

While isolating in place, you may use a number of options for acquiring meals or food:

  • Place an online order through Grubhub to pick up a meal from select campus dining locations that offer contactless pickup. These locations use a separate pickup area for online orders, allowing you to minimize the amount of time you will be present at the facility. You should not engage in on-site ordering or consumption of meals at these or any other campus dining locations.
  • Ask a roommate, friend or residential staff member to pick up a meal for you from a campus dining or other location using your meal plan.
  • Place an order for food delivery from an off-campus restaurant.  As a reminder, you must wear a facial covering when retrieving your order from the entrance of your residence hall.
  • Place an order for groceries using a delivery service such as Instacart, Target or Whole Foods. Please remember that you are not permitted to use community kitchens in the residence halls while isolating in place, so order your food accordingly. A reminder that you must wear a facial covering when retrieving your order from the entrance of your residence hall.
  • Students who are experiencing challenges in acquiring meals while isolating in place should contact their resident assistant or housefellow for assistance.

Should you need any additional support related to isolating in place, please contact your housefellow.

Note:  residents with a local permanent address who prefer to travel home in a private vehicle and complete the isolation period there are permitted to do so after consulting with their housefellow.

Housing Services and Residential Education staff understand that the isolate-in-place arrangement may present modest concerns for roommates who have not yet tested positive and are asymptomatic. Unfortunately, given the highly transmissible nature of the current variants and the fact that most people who test positive were contagious two days before symptoms appeared, it is likely that roommates have already been exposed to the virus.

We strongly encourage our residential students who are rooming together to make a plan in advance for how they will navigate the situation should one of them test positive at some point during the academic year. This may include developing plans for how shared living arrangements in the room, suite or apartment will be modified, or alternatively, how roommates may temporarily relocate to stay with friends or family or in other non-university accommodations. Please contact your housefellow if you need assistance relative to your specific situation.

If you are a roommate who has a significant medical condition that puts you at high risk for severe illness (such as being immunocompromised), please contact your housefellow for assistance in making these arrangements.

Students living in University Housing who are informed that they are a close contact should follow the university-wide guidance for close contacts.