Fact Sheet for Students: What to Do While Isolating on Campus

Updated November 11, 2022

Note: For isolation guidance purposes, ALL graduate students are considered off-campus.

Isolation reduces the spread of an infectious disease like COVID-19 by separating people who have tested positive from those who have not. Because you have tested positive, you will be required to isolate in place or isolate at home.

Hearing that you tested positive for COVID-19 and need to isolate can be unsettling, but the goal is to keep you safe while also protecting others from being exposed to illness.

Isolation Options

  • All on-campus undergraduate students will isolate in place. Full instructions will be sent via email (Sender: Yale Conferences and Events, Title: In Place Isolation Instructions).
    • Let your suitemates and close contacts know that you have tested positive. If you have a roommate, they should take a rapid antigen test right away. Your roommate may call Housing Services Office staff at 203-432-4020 to pick up test kits.
    • You will receive a package with helpful items. Please apply the provided signs to your suite door and bathroom door (when you are using it).
    • If your roommate requires assistance with alternative accommodations, please have them call Housing Services Office staff at 203-432-4020.
  • On-campus undergraduate students may choose to go home (not hotel, AirBNB, etc) if:
    • travel is private
    • family is home to assist
    • family is aware that transmission is higher in households
    • they are able to stay home for the duration of isolation

Be sure to call isolation housing at 203-432-4020 to pick up test kits BEFORE heading home.

What to Watch for

While many cases of COVID-19 are mild, you need to take symptoms seriously. If your symptoms are getting worse or you develop new worrisome symptoms, message or call your primary care provider: 203-432-0312, or after hours, call Acute Care: 203-432-0123.

Call 911 immediately if you develop:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

To request medications such as cough syrup or throat lozenges, call Yale Health pharmacy at 203-432-0033. Courier service is available once daily. You may also ask a friend to drop off over-the-counter medications.


There are now effective treatments available for those with mild or moderate symptoms who may be at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness. This includes individuals who are not fully vaccinated or over age 65, as well as those with certain medical risk factors. If you have symptoms, please contact your primary care provider right away to see if you are eligible for treatment.

While Isolating

  • Stay in your assigned room as directed. You may not have visitors.
  • Monitor your health and call or message your primary care provider if you have questions or concerns.
  • Wear the provided KN95 mask provided if you leave your room to use the bathroom, pick up food, or for another necessary reason. Practice physical distancing (at least 6 feet or 2 meters) from others.
  • Do not share items with others, like dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, etc.
  • Do not shake hands, hug, kiss, or engage in other physical contact.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • People in isolation can utilize a shared bathroom one at a time, wearing a mask and cleaning after use.
  • You may spend time outdoors. Isolation housing has designated outdoor space. Those who are isolating in place may also go outside into the courtyard staying masked and distanced for brief periods.

Length of Isolation

Isolation is required for a minimum of 5 days. If at day 5 (positive test date = Day 0; in certain cases, an inconclusive test date is used as Day 0), you have had no fever for 24 hours and your symptoms are improving, you may perform rapid antigen testing to assess whether you can safely leave isolation early on day 5 or 6.

  • Two rapid antigen tests will be included in your isolation kit. Follow package instructions to perform the test. Take a photograph of the result for documentation. You do NOT need to submit the result to the university.

  • If you test negative at day 5, you may return to your classes and all activities. You must continue to mask indoors including in your house/suite and make use of grab and go meals through day 10.

  • If you test positive on day 5, you need to book another test for day 6. If you test positive at day 6, you will be released from isolation at day 7 (without a test) and may return to your classes and all activities. You must continue to mask at all times indoors including in the house/suite and make use of grab and go meals through day 10.

You should not PCR test for 90 days as tests may remain positive even after infection has resolved and you are no longer infectious. If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID during this 90 day period, you might be advised to take a rapid antigen test by your provider.

What About My Close Contacts?

Yale has implemented a COVID outreach program to optimize the safety of our campus. Learn more about the Yale COVID-19 Outreach Program and Close Contact Guidance.

Other Important Information


  • While you are isolating in place you will pick up meals at your dining hall (Old Campus goes to Hopper) at the following times:

    • Lunch: 11:15 to 11:30 a.m.
    • Dinner: 4:45 to 5:00 p.m. (following day’s breakfast will be provided at dinner)
    • Weekend Brunch: 10:45 to 11:00 a.m.

All meals will be self-serve and “all you care to eat.”
KN95 masks must be worn during meal pick-up.

  • If you are currently located at a remote location (Harkness Hall, Albertus Magnus, etc), please call Housing Services Office at 203-432-4020 for Grubhub vouchers.
  • If you are going home, you are not eligible to receive Grubhub vouchers or dining services.

Laundry: Laundry service is available at isolation housing. It is not available to those isolating in place, and laundry should be done AFTER isolation has been completed.

TrashYou should make trips daily or every few days to dispose of trash.

Outdoor timeYou may take brief breaks in your courtyard while remaining masked and distanced from others. You may also step outside to the curb to receive food delivery.

Key phone numbers and emails:

Up-to-date university guidance and information about COVID-19 can be found at covid19.yale.edu.