Guidance for COVID-19 positive individuals and well roommate(s)
Students who test positive for COVID-19 are encouraged to isolate off-campus when possible, however, there are situations when the only available option is for a student with COVID-19 to isolate in the same room as their healthy roommate. It’s important to remember that students living in the residence halls who become sick with other contagious illnesses usually remain in shared rooms/suites with their roommates while recovering.
Here are some tips to help you navigate isolation-in-place in your shared living space.
- Mask with a high-quality mask when you are in the room together.
- Use ventilating fans to increase air circulation in the room. Air purifiers may also be used.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, faucet and cabinet handles, smartphones, laptops, remote controls, etc.).
- If you share a bathroom, remember that sinks could be an infection source. Totes or caddies can be used for personal items so they don’t touch the bathroom countertop; bring your tote back to your personal space rather than leaving it in a shared bathroom.
- Each person should use their own hand or face towels.
- If you share a sleeping space, arrange beds so that you have as much space between beds as possible.
- Consider sleeping facing away from one another; even sleeping in opposite directions (head to toe) could create extra distance.
- If sharing food or drinks, use separate serving dishes or cups (e.g., rather than sticking your hand into a bag of chips, pour an individual portion into a bowl).
- If you do come in contact with shared surfaces or items, wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
- Do not invite any guests to your room until the isolation period has ended.
- If a single bathroom is available on your floor, choose that option over a shared bathroom. Be sure to wear your mask if you have to access any common spaces like a hallway.
- Wear a well-fitting, preferably KN95/N95 mask to grab meals from the dining areas and promptly return to your room to eat. Consider grabbing enough food for a couple of meals at a time (i.e., breakfast & lunch).
- Follow guidance for ending isolation.
- Contact Student Health Services at 410-617-5055 for additional guidance if your symptoms are not improving by day 5 following your positive test.
- You may still go to class and all activities.
- Minimize time spent in your room—take advantage of this time to discover a new favorite study or hangout spot on campus.
- Wear a mask around others and take precautions until 10 days after your roommate’s isolation ends.
- Test often using a self-test kit. The best time to test is 5 days after your initial exposure, but with continued exposure, you will want to be sure to test again 5 days after your roommate is no longer infectious. If you need a self-test kit, contact Student Health Services to obtain one.
If you are a well roommate of a student who has tested positive for COVID-19 and you have a chronic medical condition that puts you at high risk for severe illness, please contact Student Health Services at 410-617-5055 during normal business hours.