Contact Quarantine and Isolation

This information has been prepared by campus safety, student health services, facilities, residential life, and the dean of the college representatives to help you understand what you can expect if you need to enter contact quarantine or isolation during the fall 2020 semester.

  • Contact Quarantine is required for someone identified as having had close contact (CDC definition) with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19. Students traveling from states or countries with high levels of active disease may also be required to quarantine based on New York State or CDC guidance.
  • Isolation is required for someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Mandatory Universal Quarantine: To strengthen the University’s plan to minimize the spread of SARS-CoV2 and to identify positive cases early in the semester, the University will require a universal mandatory quarantine of at least 14 days for all students. More about universal quarantine
  • Employee Quarantine and Isolation: The information on this page covers student quarantine and isolation. Employees who need to quarantine or isolate due to illness, positive testing, or close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 may review: Employee quarantine and isolation

When the decision is made that you are to move to quarantine or isolation, you will be required by New York State law to move to a space that Colgate University has set aside for this purpose. If the demand for Colgate-owned quarantine and isolation space exceeds the spaces available, the Madison County Department of Health will work with Colgate to secure safe and appropriate quarantine and isolation housing for you. Your basic daily needs will be provided.

Housing and Transportation

Colgate has identified specific locations for quarantine and isolation. Given the limited space available, expect that you might have a roommate while you are in quarantine or isolation. 

Campus Safety or another appropriately trained transport team will help to transport you and your necessities to the quarantine or isolation space, where you will be assigned to a room. You will need to wear a mask during transport. Your driver will be wearing a mask, protective eyewear, and gloves. In most cases, you will be expected to move your belongings to your temporary housing yourself, to minimize the chance of disease transmission.


Quarantine is typically 14 days. If while in quarantine, you go on to develop symptoms of COVID-19, you will be evaluated by the student health center staff, tested, and will likely need to transition to isolation. 

Isolation for asymptomatic persons is currently at least 10 days after the test date (may be as much as 14 days). 

Isolation for people who are symptomatic continues for at least 10 days after symptom onset. To conclude isolation, you will need to:

  • Be fever-free for three days without medication
  • Your respiratory symptoms must be significantly improved



Department of Health Contact

As you transition to quarantine or isolation housing, you will receive a call from the Madison County Department of Health. This phone call is standard procedure. They will explain the details of the state requirements for quarantine and isolation, and they will confirm the expected date when you will be able to exit quarantine or isolation.  Students who are quarantining because of travel from areas of high infection rates may not have contact with the Department of Health; in those cases, Student Health Services will make those contacts.

Clearance for Release

The Madison County Department of Health will have the final word on the end date of your quarantine or isolation.

Expectations and Requirements

Your cooperation and compliance with the expectations shared here are absolutely essential for your health and safety, and that of our Colgate and Hamilton communities.

Health-Related Behavior

When you move to isolation or quarantine, you will be given very specific instructions. Those detailed documents will be available in the future. The basics are outlined below.

Remaining in your room is a core aspect of both quarantine and isolation to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Common areas will be closed.

As outlined below, there will be staff available to assist you with needs, including obtaining personal care items and laundry services, during your time in either quarantine or isolation.


While you are in quarantine, because you are considered to have been exposed to COVID-19, you are being kept separate from the main population. This allows the health department to monitor you for the possibility of developing COVID-19 and to prevent you from potentially spreading the disease to anyone in the community. We must ensure that you remain healthy through the duration of the disease’s typical incubation period before you are cleared to return to your normal housing.

Temperature and Symptom Monitoring

You will need to monitor your temperature and symptoms twice daily and report that information to the Student Health Center. 

Daily check-in

You will receive a daily phone call from Student Health Services to check in with you, assess your health, and ask you about potential symptoms. It is imperative that you answer phone calls.  

Staying Put

While you are in quarantine, we may be able to arrange some way for you to get some regular, supervised exercise and/or fresh air. Other than those moments, you are expected to stay in your room.


You will not need to wear your mask in your room; however, if leaving your room, you must wear a mask.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you will be moved to housing separate from the rest of the main campus population to prevent spread of the virus to others in the community. If you are sick (symptomatic), you will receive medical attention. 

Daily check-in

While in isolation, you will have daily contact from Student Health Services via Zoom. It is imperative you make those connections daily. If you have a concern about worsening symptoms, the Student Health Services staff will come to the isolation location to evaluate and assess your medical needs. 

Staying Put

While you are in isolation, you will not be allowed to leave your room for any reason (except in the case of emergency).


You will not need to wear your mask in your room; however, if leaving your room in an emergency, you must wear a mask.



If you have a medical emergency while in quarantine or isolation, call 911 just as you would in any other circumstance. Make sure to notify the 911 dispatcher that you are in quarantine or isolation.

Meals will be delivered to any student in contact quarantine or isolation on campus regardless of their meal plan status at that time. (These 42 meals will be applied to a student’s account) This does not apply to students who self-quarantine or isolate at home with parents or guardians.

For reasons of health and safety, visitors are strictly prohibited; there are no exceptions. No visit is low-risk when you are under quarantine or isolation.

A number of supplies will be provided to you upon checking in to this location. There will be staff available to you if you need essential supplies or health-related items.

Your laundry needs will be addressed while you are under quarantine or isolation, in a manner that protects your health and public health.

If you have a facilities matter that requires attention while you are staying in this location, we will have a process for addressing it.

If work is required in your room and you are well enough to leave your room, you will be asked to leave the room, wearing your mask, and to wait in a common area until you are approved to return.  If you are not well enough to leave your room and the issue is serious enough to require immediate repair, personnel entering the room will do so outfitted in full personal protective equipment, including gown, face shield and respirator, booties, gloves, etc.

You will be asked to place tied trash bags outside your door for pick up/removal.