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

Isolation prevents the spread of an infectious disease like COVID-19 by separating people who have tested positive and may have symptoms from those who have not. Because of your positive test for COVID-19 you will need to isolate at your residence, even if you did not have symptoms, to avoid spreading the infection to others. In most cases, isolation lasts for 10 days.

Hearing that you have 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. Your health and well-being are important to us, and we are here to support you as you navigate this uncertain time.

While isolating

  • Stay in your residence as directed, preferably in a separate room. You may not have visitors and should avoid close contact with others.
  • If you live with family or have roommates, wear a mask or face covering in the common areas of your home. Practice physical distancing (at least 6 feet or 2 meters) from others.
  • Monitor your health and call the Campus COVID Resource Line (203-432-6604) if you have questions or concerns.
  • You will be contacted by Yale Health nurses frequently either by phone or email to monitor your symptoms. Take your temperature and check your oxygen level with the fingertip pulse oximeter twice a day and record the results. The Yale Health nurses will be collecting this information to help manage your care.
  • 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.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces daily, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
  • Have food, groceries and other supplies delivered through a no contact method.

What to watch for

The majority of cases of COVID-19 in younger people are mild but you need to take symptoms seriously. If you develop new symptoms or your symptoms are getting worse call the Campus COVID Resource Line right away 203-432-6604. The Yale Health team is available 24/7. A video visit with a Yale Health provider will be scheduled and a plan for medical care will be developed. Older adults and people with certain medical conditions are at higher risk for serious illness with COVID-19.  A list of conditions can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/index.html.

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

Length of isolation

If you had symptoms, the duration of isolation is 10 days from the onset of the illness, plus at least 24 hours without a fever and improvement in symptoms.

If you did not have symptoms (asymptomatic) the duration of isolation is 10 days from the date the positive test sample was collected.

Release from isolation will be provided by the Yale Health Care Management team. Once released from isolation, you may return to your usual activities.

Individuals with true positive tests, or symptomatic infection, will be removed from the repeat testing pool for 90 days as tests may remain positive even after infection has resolved and you are no longer infectious.

The Yale Health team is available 24/7 to help and offering you the opportunity to have any questions answered. 

  • Campus COVID Resource Line: 203-432-6604
  • Mental Health and Counseling: 203-432-0290

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

Ways to stay active and connected

Isolation can be a difficult time and you may find yourself worrying about whether you may become sick. Try to keep yourself and your mind busy, and stay connected with people who can support you.