Isolation Instructions for Residential Students

Find isolation instructions for students living off campus and employees on our Health & Safety page.

What happens if I'm ordered into isolation?

Isolation is a way of separating a person known or suspected to be infected with an infectious disease from the community to stop the spread. If you test positive for COVID-19 (through diagnostic testing or UAlbany surveillance testing), you will be ordered by the University and/or county health officials to isolate.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must do the following: 

  • You must report your positive test result to the University

  • You must isolate for at least five full days. Note: Negative test results cannot shorten or lengthen isolation time. 

  • You may not return to any UAlbany campus or University-operated space until your isolation period is over and you have received University approval to return to campus, which will be sent to your UAlbany email address. 

  • For an additional five days after leaving isolation, you must wear a tightly fitting mask anytime you are in a room with other people. 


Where will I isolate?

Residential students may use UAlbany’s on-campus isolation housing. You may also choose to go home or to an off-campus location, such as a hotel, to isolate.

Any residential student who goes home or to an off-campus location must: 

  • provide Residential Life with the address where they will isolate and the name and telephone number of another individual at that location (or the hotel name and phone number)

  • receive written approval from Residential Life to isolate at that location

  • have their own personal transportation, as they should not use any type of mass transit or ride share service 

To coordinate this, please contact Residential Life before leaving campus.

No matter where you isolate, you must have written approval from Residential Life to return to your permanent campus housing assignment. Residential Life staff will then work with you to coordinate your return to your original room.  

To request approval, upload your positive test result into the Student COVID Documentation Portal and email [email protected] to notify the University.

All residential students should review this page so you know what to expect if you are directed to isolate.  



Protocol for On-campus Isolation Housing

The University has set aside beds for isolation housing, with Residential Life staff living onsite who assist students throughout their stay. Students placed in on-campus isolation housing may not leave this housing (except for appointments, testing and/or emergencies) for the duration of their isolation period.


You may not leave your room for any reason other than to seek medical care, testing or in the event of a fire alarm, mandatory evacuation or other emergency. You must wear your mask anytime you open your door or leave your room.  

You may also leave your room to use the bathroom, if a bathroom is not attached to your room.

You must also follow the rules and protocols outlined in Community Rights & Responsibilities and the University Residence Halls & Apartments License.


The University has transportation available to isolation housing but you may also use your personal vehicle if you prefer. For safety reasons, you will be required to handle your own luggage and supplies.

If you have written approval from Residential Life to return to your permanent campus housing assignment, you may choose to take public transportation back to your permanent campus housing assignment.

You will not need to empty or completely pack up your permanent residence hall or apartment. Please only bring the supplies you’ll need for your stay. See a list of what to pack below. 

Packing List

To make your transition as smooth as possible, we encourage you to have a To-Go Bag packed and ready.  

You will not need to empty or completely pack up your permanent residence hall or apartment. Please only bring the supplies you’ll need for your stay. See a list of what to pack below. 

Below are some items you should add into your To-Go Bag:  

  • Linens, including bedding, towels and pillows 

  • Clothing (Please pack enough clothes for up to 10 days. You will not be allowed to do laundry.)  

  • Prescription and over the counter medications   

  • Liquid hand soap  

  • Hygiene products such as body lotion, feminine hygiene products, toothbrush, toothpaste, bar soap, shampoo, conditioner, comb, razor, hair ties, etc.   

  • Masks   

  • Cellphone and charger  

  • Laptop and charger  

  • Textbooks and notebooks for your classes  

  • Eyeglasses and contacts  

  • Antiseptic hand sanitizer  

  • Tissues  

  • Nonperishable snacks  

  • Thermometer (Please ask Residential Life staff if this will be needed during your stay.) 

Residential Life staff will help students receive any outside deliveries during designated hours. You’ll receive instructions and hours of availability when you arrive.  

If you have questions, please contact Residential Life using the phone numbers listed on the bottom of this page. 


Before your transportation arrives, check-in instructions will be sent to your UAlbany email address. You’ll also be asked to sign an Isolation Housing Agreement.


Students who are placed in on-campus isolation housing will have $35.00 loaded onto their ID card under a special “UAlbany Iso Quar” account each day by 4:30 p.m. and will use these funds to order meal deliveries via GrubHub.  

You’ll be charged as follows: 

  • Students with no meal plan will be charged $35.00 per day. 

  • Students with a myFlex or myChoice meal plan will have $17.50 per day charged to their Discount Dollars. (This is equal to $35.00 per day with a 50% discount.) 

  • Students with a myGreatDane meal plan will not be charged an additional fee, as they have a meal plan that includes all regularly offered meals. 

These charges are mandatory. Note: Meal charges may not be posted to your student account or meal plan for several days or weeks after you leave isolation housing. If using Discount Dollars to cover the charges, please maintain an appropriate balance. Otherwise, the remaining balance will be charged to your student account.  

Once you opt into the GrubHub/UAlbany affiliation, you’ll automatically receive a free GrubHub Plus membership, which waives most delivery fees.  

Your first $35.00 will become available the afternoon or evening you’re moved into on-campus isolation housing, so you can order your dinner and breakfast. 

For the rest of your stay, $35.00 will be added to your account each afternoon and remaining amounts will roll over each night. However, you will forfeit any remaining balance when they leave on-campus isolation housing. 

If you spend more than your available balance at any time, you’ll need to pay the difference in one of two ways: using a personal credit or debit card on GrubHub or by adding additional Podium funds to your ID card. 

Residential Life staff will help students receive meal deliveries during designated hours. You’ll receive instructions and hours of availability when you arrive. 

Please refrigerate food immediately, reheat thoroughly when ready to eat, and do not keep perishable foods for more than 24 hours. 

You may want to bring your favorite non-perishable snacks and beverages to supplement your meals. 

Trash Removal

Trash must be removed from your apartment regularly. Please place all your trash into the provided garbage bags provided and then tie the bags with a double knot. This includes any trash from your bathroom. 

Place those bags in the hallway, outside your apartment door, immediately before trash pick-up times. Trash is picked up daily at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.  

Note: You must always put on a mask before you open your door.


Students must make arrangements with their instructors to keep up with coursework while unable to attend in-person classes.

WIFI is available in on-campus isolation housing, so students are expected to continue their coursework to the best of their ability, unless they are physically unable to do so.

Students must contact their instructors immediately to arrange for accommodations before an assignment's deadline, if necessary. 


Expectations for all Residential Students

Students must participate fully and honestly with the University officials as they respond to COVID-related issues on campus.   

Students must answer phone calls and text messages from county, state and University officials and contact tracers. 

Students must answer their door and wear a mask before they open their door. 

Students who are alleged to be noncompliant with COVID-19 related rules and regulations will be subject to a student conduct referral, as outlined in our student code of conduct, Community Rights & Responsibilities.

In addition, failure to respond to the county or state Departments of Health or follow their directions may result in severe fines or prosecution.     


Contact Us 

Residential Life:

University Police Department: 518-442-3131 

Student Health Services: 518-442-5454

Counseling & Psychological Services: 518-442-5800 | [email protected]