Carnegie Mellon University

Isolation & Quarantine Housing

Preventing the spread of COVID-19 on campus requires all students to make some adjustments to their daily lives to prioritize the health and safety of our community. This includes the possibility of needing to participate in an isolation or quarantine period where one is separated from the broader campus community to avoid transmitting the virus. For example, regardless of vaccination status, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate. Students who live on campus will be moved into Isolation and Quarantine Housing (IQ Housing).

Please keep in mind, IQ Housing is only temporary and you will receive support throughout the entire process. Student Affairs staff in University Health Services (UHS), Residential Education, Dining Services, and Housing Services partner to provide support to students in IQ Housing with items such as healthcare, meal delivery, missing classes and accessing resources.

As part of A Tartan’s Responsibility, students are required to move immediately to IQ Housing once notified that they tested positive for COVID-19. The length of the isolation period will be determined by guidance from the Allegheny County Health Department and dates of symptom onset, duration, and testing. Students may return to their regular residence hall assignment once cleared by the contact tracing team.

IQ Housing for students living on campus will likely be in Shirley Apartments or Margaret Morrison #101. Students may be required to isolate in groups and have a roommate or two. Housing Services will manage all IQ Housing assignments; students are not able to indicate IQ Housing preference. Any student in IQ Housing will receive daily symptom monitoring surveys that they must reply to and must wear a facial covering if transferring from their room to IQ housing assignments.

Who Will Be Required to Move to IQ Housing?
As of this writing, any student living on campus who tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, or is a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and is unvaccinated, will be required to move to IQ housing.

Students who are vaccinated and are determined to be a close contact of someone with COVID-19 are not required to isolate or quarantine but must respond to contact tracers and UHS as well as report their close contact.

Residential students who are required to move to IQ housing are not permitted to relocate to any other alternative location (on- or off-campus) for their isolation or quarantine period. Students who disregard instruction from university officials to move into or reside in IQ housing will be subject to community standards review for violating "A Tartan’s Responsibility.”

Your Temporary IQ Housing Room Assignment 
If you are required to move to IQ Housing, you will receive an email to your Andrew account with your new building and room number, along with your one-use temporary passcode. (Make sure to press the "#" symbol on the keypad first before putting in the passcode.) This one-time temporary code is for initial access to your temporary IQ housing room. Access will be added to your CMU ID card soon after. Room changes are not permitted.  

Guidelines for Your IQ Housing Stay 
Once in your new IQ Housing assignment, you must stay in this room for the duration of your IQ period (usually about 10 days). Common spaces are unavailable, and you must not leave your room. Once notified by contact tracers that you are cleared from IQ Housing, you can move back to your originally assigned room and move freely about campus.

Be Prepared for IQ Housing
All students should pack an emergency bag in case IQ Housing is required at any point during the year. Please have this bag available and ready to always go with 10-days’ worth of supplies. Some suggested items include:

  • Minimum of four days’ -worth of clothing (as laundry service is provided in IQ housing)
  • Medication and self-care items including all needed toiletry items

Please also make sure you have your supplies organized such as computers, phones, chargers, books, and school supplies. Students are not able to go back to their room for forgotten items. Students will also need to personally carry all items they are bringing with them to their IQ Housing location. Each room will come with a set of linen that includes a blanket, a sheet, a pillow, and towels.

Move-in Timeframe
We understand that you will need time to gather your belongings for your IQ Housing stay, but we ask that you be as swift as possible with your relocation process. If you are unable to move in directly after your appointment/communication with University Health Services, we ask that you move-in as soon as you possibly can. Please note, students will not be able to attend upcoming events, classes, study groups, athletic practices/game, etc. on the day they are notified that they must move to IQ Housing.

Snacks, Toiletries & More 
Housing Services will provide some beverages, food items, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and an activities book with crayons or colored pencils in your room upon your arrival. If you need any of these in-room items restocked, please contact us at For emergency requests, please call the Housefellow on call.

Once you've settled in, please scan the QR code on the dining sheet located in your room; this will bring you to a Smartsheet, which will be how you order food in IQ housing. Fill in all the information including dietary restrictions, food allergens and your contact information to ensure your orders are delivered accurately and safely. Here is a tutorial on how to order.

Trash Collection
Housing Services provides trash removal service during your stay in IQ Housing. Whenever you fill a bag of trash, please secure and close the bag and leave it outside of your door. Staff will collect this during their next rounds. 

Housing Services will provide laundry service twice a week.

Given that nearly all classes for the semester will be in-person, students will need to be prepared to miss classes while in IQ housing. Students will be encouraged to work directly with their faculty to make alternate arrangements, and if needed, connect with Diane Dawson in University Health Services at 412-268-9171 or for a short-term, academic accommodation.  

Additional Support
Your Housefellow, University Health Services, and Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) will all be able to assist you with other support needs you may have during your IQ Housing stay.

Check Out
CMU’s University Health Services will send you a "Cleared from IQ Housing" message in the afternoon/evening one day before you are cleared to move out. You may return to your residence hall the following day. You can expect your access to campus buildings to be restored by the next morning.