Quarantine and Isolation Policies and Procedures

What to Expect if You Are Told to Quarantine or Isolate

A Guide for Students in Residential Housing

Policies, procedures, and guidelines are subject to change and may be modified due to the information provided for a specific case. This document is intended to serve as a reference for students and the community; however, students assigned to quarantine/isolation should follow the direct instructions provided by the University Health Center and Residence Life. Any official, student-specific communications will supersede the general guidance provided in this document.

Quarantine or Isolation?

  • Quarantine: Is for Montclair State University Students who have no symptoms but were in close contact with someone diagnosed with or suspected to have Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Isolation: Is for Montclair State University Students who have received positive test results for COVID-19, or have symptoms and are awaiting test results.
  • The University Health Center will determine whether a student needs to isolate or quarantine. Medical staff from the University Health Center will review the following information with you and provide specific instructions for quarantine or isolation. You will receive a follow-up email from the Office of Residence Life that provides your quarantine/isolation housing assignment (if applicable) and further instructions.
  • How long will quarantine last? Students will quarantine for 14 days from their most recent encounter with an infectious person. If you get a negative test for COVID, you still have to quarantine for 14 days.
    • The reason quarantine is 14 days, even with a negative COVID-19 test, is that it can take 14 days for the infection to appear. A test done too early after exposure can be falsely negative and then if you become ill and are not quarantined, you will infect many other people.
  • How long will isolation last? Students will isolate at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms or a positive test if you had no symptoms. If you get a negative test for COVID-19, you are released from isolation.
  • Students will speak with the University Health Center during the quarantine or isolation period. In order to return to normal campus activity and housing, students must receive clearance from the University Health Center, the local health department, or their own medical provider.

Planning Ahead

  • While we are all doing our best to stop the spread of COVID-19, we encourage students to have a plan in place in the event they need to move to quarantine or isolation housing on short notice. Consider having the following prepared and easily accessible:
    • Phone, wallet, insurance information, identification cards, keys, etc.
    • Comfortable clothes, toiletries, prescriptions, linens, electronics and chargers, a reusable water bottle, non-perishable snacks or favorite food items, a suitcase or bag to carry your essential items.

General Policies and Procedures for Quarantine and Isolation

  • You should plan to pack enough supplies such as clothing, linens, toiletries, food/water, medications, electronics and chargers, and anything else you may need to be self-sufficient for 14 days. Ensure you have packed all your essential items prior to vacating your residence hall, as you will not be permitted to leave your designated quarantine/isolation room once there if you forget or run out of supplies
  • You must remain in the specific designated room and bathroom assigned for you at all times. If you are located within a suite-style space with an adjoining room, you cannot enter that room for any reason. The door leading to the adjoining room must be kept closed at all times.
  • No visitors are permitted inside the designated room/bathroom assigned to you or within an adjoining room within the suite.
  • Attendance at work, school, meetings, or going into public spaces is prohibited.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding used during quarantine/isolation with other people especially once your quarantine/isolation is finished if you did not clean them. After using such items, especially after quarantine/isolation, they must be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a plastic-lined trash can. Immediately wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • High touch surfaces such as counters, furniture surfaces, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, cellphones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables should be frequently cleaned using a household cleaning spray or wipes and cleaned according to the label instructions.
    • You are expected to clean your assigned quarantine/isolation room daily. Cleaning service through University housekeeping will not be provided.
  • In the event you need to interact with emergency personnel, wear a face covering.

What to Do if You Become Sick While in Quarantine

  • Monitor your health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19:
    • Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Chills, Repeated shaking with chills, Muscle pain, Headache, Sore throat, Vomiting or diarrhea, Nasal congestion, Runny nose, New loss of taste or smell.
    • If you develop any of these symptoms, contact the University Health Center 973-655-3459 or the University Police Department  973-655-5222, they will contact EMS, or 911
    • >If you experience difficulty breathing, feel pain or pressure in your chest, have bluish lips or face, or are experiencing a new onset of confusion or difficulty waking up, call University Police at 973-655-5222 for immediate medical assistance and transport to the emergency room.
  • While in quarantine/isolation, if you feel or become sick or your symptoms change, please call the following and refrain from leaving your designated room to visit in person
    • During business hours, contact via phone the University Health Center at 973-655-4361.
      • The University Health Center hours are:
        • Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    • If the University Health Center is closed, contact via phone University Police at 973-655-5222.
    • You will be provided with further instructions over the phone for response in how to address your symptoms.
    • If emergency personnel need to respond to your designated room, please wear a face covering.
    • Avoid ride-sharing, taxis, and mass transit modes of transportation in the event you are approved to go home or visit a doctor.


  • Quarantine:You will be able to order your food from Sam’s Place/Montclair State University Dining Services using the Grubhub app and then you may leave your room to pick up your food. Please ensure you are wearing a face covering and maintaining a distance of 6 feet from other people. Return to your assigned room immediately after.
  • Isolation: You will need to place your orders from Sam’s Place through Grubhub. A member of the dining services staff will deliver your food to the front desk of your residential community. The staff at the desk will deliver your food to your room door and contact you when it has been dropped off. Please wait until the staff leaves the door to open it and pick up your food.

Trash Disposal

  • Quarantine: Dispose of your trash the designated trash rooms on the floor. To limit time in common spaces, please plan to do this when you leave to pick up meals.
  • Isolation:Garbage bags are provided for your use. Place trash in the bag(s), tie the bag closed, and place it in the hallway outside your room between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm.

Facilities Issues

  • If items in your assigned room are damaged or in need of repair, please contact Ms. Thea Dyer, Assistant Director for Residence Life, at Dyert@montclair.edu

General Support and Advocacy

  • It is difficult to predict what need for the support you may have while you are quarantined. Here are some general resources you may find useful:
    • Residence Life, 973-655-5188, reslife@montclair.edu
    • University Police, 973-655-5222
    • University Health Center, 973-655-4361
    • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), 973-655-5211
    • Dean of Students, 973-655-4118
    • Student Social Services, 973-655-7493
  • Self-Care: This can be an overwhelming and scary time. You may be experiencing many emotions. Take care of yourself! If you already practice self-care, continue it by considering modifications to fit your current needs. Your self-care plan could include:
    • Video chats, Phone calls or messaging with family and friends, Meditation practices, Keeping a journal to record your thoughts and experiences, Watching shows or movies, Participating in Let’s Tele Talk with CAPS, Utilizing the Tao Self-Help resources

References and Resources

Last Modified: Monday, October 19, 2020 2:50 pm