Quarantine and Isolation Policies and Procedures

What to Expect if You Are Told to Quarantine or Isolate

Last Updated: December 20 2021

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: This is for Montclair State University students who are unvaccinated and were in close contact with someone diagnosed with or suspected to have Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Isolation: This 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 who are unvaccinated and were exposed to COVID-19 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.
    • Students required to quarantine due to travel restrictions are required to provide negative test results prior to returning to campus. These students may be released from quarantine if they receive a second negative test result after quarantining for seven days. Once a negative result is received, the student can be released from quarantine. The Office of Residence Life and the University Health Center will work with students quarantining due to travel and will provide additional instructions. Students in quarantine due to exposure cannot “test out” of quarantine. 
  • How long will isolation last? Students will begin to isolate as soon as they develop symptoms of illness and/or have tested positive for COVID-19. If students receive a positive COVID-19 test result they will isolate at least 10 days. Students in isolation due to symptoms of illness, who do not test positive for COVID-19 and get a negative PCR test result, may be released from isolation at that time. Do note that negative rapid test results will not be considered for release from isolation, only PCR test results.
  • 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 and over-the-counter medications, linens, a thermometer, electronics and chargers, a reusable water bottle, non-perishable snacks or favorite food items, a suitcase or bag to carry your essential items.

What to Pack/What is Provided in Quarantine/Isolation Rooms

  • Based on availability, the Office of Residence Life will attempt to place students in a room/suite/apartment similar to a student’s current room assignment. Each space will provide the following amenities:
    • Furniture (note: linen is not provided)
    • Bathroom with shower curtain and toilet paper
    • Rooms/Suites – MicroFridge unit (mini-refrigerator and microwave)
    • Apartments – stove, refrigerator, microwave
  • You should plan to pack enough supplies you may need to be self-sufficient for 14 days. Below is a recommended list of items to pack:
    • Clothing
    • Linens (pillow, sheets, blanket, towels, etc.)
    • Toiletries 
    • Food/drink
    • Medications
    • Electronics and chargers
    • Anything else to make your stay most comfortable 
  • 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.
  • Forgot something? Don’t stress as the Office of Residence Life has items available! Items include Tylenol, cough drops, tissues, toilet paper, garbage bags, and toiletries such as deodorant, toothbrushes/paste, shampoo, and more. If you need any of these items during your stay, please email Ms. Thea Dyer, Assistant Director for Residence Life, at dyert@montclair.edu. Items will be delivered upon request.

General Policies and Procedures for Quarantine and Isolation

  • 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, in-person instruction, 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 that you need to interact with emergency personnel, wear a face covering.

What to Do if You Become Sick While in Quarantine/Isolation

  • 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 University Police via phone 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 and Isolation:  
    • Food ordering and delivery will be available to you for the duration of your quarantine or isolation period. Please use the GrubHub app when ordering food. If you do not have a meal plan, you can order food through the app using Flex Dollars, Red Hawk Dollars, or a credit/debit card. 
    • When looking on the app, there is a specific menu titled “Red Hawk Isolation Menu” to order from. Once in there you will see the option for ordering. Sam’s Place will be the option available. Red Hawk Menu will be selected if you are not on a meal plan and Unlimited would be selected if you are on a meal plan.
    • Orders must be placed ONLY within these specific time frames:   
      • Breakfast: 7-8 a.m.
      • Lunch: 10-11 a.m.
      • Dinner: 3-4 p.m.
      • Saturdays and Sundays – Brunch will be offered in lieu of breakfast and lunch: 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
    • When checking out please put your building and room number in the PICK-UP INSTRUCTIONS. 
    • Food will be delivered to the front desk of your building at the following times: 
      • Breakfast 9-10a.m.
      • Lunch 12-1p.m.
      • Dinner 5-6 p.m.
      • Saturday and Sunday Brunch: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    • A staff member from Residence Life will deliver your food outside of your room door during the above times.

If you have any questions regarding food ordering or delivery while in quarantine or isolation, please email Bill Heslin at heslinb@montclair.edu.

Trash Disposal

  • Place trash in a plastic garbage bag(s), tie the bag closed, and place it in the hallway outside your room between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. If you need garbage bags during your stay, please email Ms. Thea Dyer, Assistant Director for Residence Life, at dyert@montclair.edu. Garbage bags will be delivered upon request. 

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.
  • Please note that facilities staff cannot enter rooms while under quarantine/isolation – refrain from submitting work orders for repairs. 

General Support and Advocacy

  • It is difficult to predict what support you may need while you are quarantined or isolated. 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

Failure to Comply 

Students who are placed in quarantine/isolation must comply with University directives, including but not limited to instructions pertaining to relocation and safety protocols. Failure to comply with directives related to quarantine/isolation may result in charges for violations of the Student Code of Conduct, which may result in interim suspension from housing and/or loss of housing.