Positive Test Results & Isolation

What to Do If You Test Positive for COVID-19 

Instructions for Students & Employees 

If you test positive for COVID-19, you must isolate to the extent possible according to the CDC’s isolation guidelines. Please review the information below for further instructions. 

Step 1: Report Your Positive Test Result to the University

Students and employees who receive a positive COVID-19 test result must inform the University. 

The University will then send you an end-of-isolation date via email.  

  • Students: Please work directly with your instructors to keep up with coursework while you’re unable to attend in-person classes and/or to arrange for extensions before assignments’ deadlines. 

  • Employees: Please follow normal call-in procedures for notifying your supervisor of your required isolation period. Human Resources will provide you with an Affirmation of Isolation form, which you must submit before returning to campus. 

Step 2: Notify Your Close Contacts

If you believe you may have exposed others to COVID-19, please contact those individuals and give them the following information: 

  • They should consider wearing a tightly fitted mask, or double mask, whenever they are around others for the next 10 days. 

  • If they develop symptoms at any time, they should self-isolate and get tested

  • They do not need to quarantine. 

Additionally, if you live with other people, please tell them: 

  • They should consider wearing a tightly fitting mask while in the same room as you or others.  

  • They do not need to isolate unless they develop symptoms or test positive.  

  • They should get tested on the last day of your isolation — or sooner if they develop symptoms. (Note: Student Health Services offers on-campus testing for students.) 

For more guidance on what to do if exposed, review the CDC’s exposure guidelines

Step 3: Isolate

The isolation period typically lasts five full days, with Day 0 being the day your symptoms began or, if you are asymptomatic, the day you had a positive test result. 

Consult your medical provider (such as your primary care physician or Student Health Services) if your symptoms change or worsen.  

If you need to leave isolation (such as for medical care), please wear a tightly fitting mask whenever you are in public or around others. 

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

Employees should isolate according to the CDC’s isolation guidelines and may not return to campus until their isolation period is complete. 

Students can choose where they isolate. Your options include: 

  • Your current residence — meaning your on-campus room, suite or apartment, or your off-campus apartment, depending on whether you are an on- or off-campus student 

  • Your permanent residence, or the off-campus home of a family member or friend 

  • Another off-campus location, such as a hotel 

If you choose to isolate in your on-campus housing assignment, you must also follow these rules during your isolation period: 

  • You must wear a tightly fitting mask anytime you are in a room with other people, including your roommates, suitemates and/or apartmentmates. 

  • You must wear a tightly fitting mask anytime you leave your on-campus housing. 

  • You may only leave your on-campus housing to obtain to-go food, pick up mail, obtain medical care and/or respond to emergencies.  

  • You can use campus funds (Discount Dollars, Munch Money and Podium) or a credit/debit card to order to-go food from on-campus retail dining locations through the GET Food and CBORD Mobile ID apps

  • If you have a myUnlimited meal plan, you will receive an email with instructions on how to pick up a meal from a Quad dining hall should you need to. 

Guidance for Roommates, Suitemates & Apartmentmates 

We encourage all students to talk with their roommates, suitemates and/or apartmentmates about how the group will handle isolation if someone tests positive.  

Planning ahead is especially important for on-campus students because alternative isolation housing is not available on campus. Consider using your roommate agreement form as a guide for that conversation. 

If someone you live with has tested positive for COVID-19, you are not required to quarantine. However, you should wear a tightly fitted mask, or double mask, whenever you are in public or around others for the next 10 days. 

If you live with someone who has COVID-19, get tested on the last day of their isolation — or sooner if you develop symptoms. (Note: Student Health Services offers on-campus testing for students.) 

For more guidance on what to do if exposed, review the CDC’s exposure guidelines


Mental Health Guidance 

We know isolation can take a toll on your mental health, so we encourage you to reach out to family and friends virtually during your isolation period to stay connected.  

Students can also call the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Hotline



Please contact [email protected] with any questions related to positive test results and isolation. 

The University’s standardized isolation instructions are consistent with federal and New York State guidance. They also reflect COVID-19's now-endemic status and other important considerations, including: 

  • The extremely low utilization rate of on-campus isolation housing during Fall 2022 

  • The widespread availability of bivalent vaccines and the high level of protection against severe disease afforded by our campus community’s high vaccination rate 

  • Valid concerns raised by students and parents about the impact of isolation on mental health and well-being 

  • The importance of providing a similar level of care and support to all students, regardless of the specific communicable disease they are experiencing and regardless of whether they are isolating on campus or off