Isolation & Quarantine Process for Residents

Last Updated: September 11, 2020

San Diego State University is working diligently to ensure that all community members remain as safe as possible throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health officials will ask individuals to quarantine or isolate based on their COVID-19 exposure. 

  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
  • Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

Isolation Process

Here’s what to expect when a student tests positive for COVID-19 while living in on-campus housing*. 

*On-campus housing includes students with a housing license agreement through SDSU. It does not include students in SDSU-affiliated housing. 

Step 1: The student is tested for COVID-19. If tested at SDSU, the results are typically ready within 1-2 days. 

Step 2: The student is notified of their positive COVID-19 test by SDSU or by their off-campus medical provider. If not tested at SDSU, the student should report their positive test to the university by completing the COVID-19 Reporting Form.

Step 3: The student is contacted by an assessment and response team member to help understand onset of symptoms, assist with notification of close contacts as needed and to advise on length of isolation.

Step 4: Housing provides instructions to the student for transfer to the on-campus isolation room. The student is asked to pack essential items including:

  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Laptop
  • Cell phone
  • Chargers
  • Thermometer

Step 5: The student moves to the isolation room. They are given the option to walk, drive their own vehicle, ride in a golf cart or take an ambulance.

Step 6: The student is provided with the following isolation supplies:

  • Bedding (pad, fitted sheet, flat sheet, blanket, pillow, pillowcase)
  • Bath towel and face towel
  • Laundry bag
  • Disinfectant spray bottle
  • Liquid hand soap
  • Hand sanitizer
  • toilet paper
  • paper towels
  • hazard waste bags

Step 7: The student is assigned an SDSU staff member who will serve as a case manager for the duration of the student’s time in isolation. The case manager checks in with the student twice a day (once before 11 a.m. and again before 8 p.m.) to ensure support, provide assistance with any supplies or needs and to connect student to resources. Case managers will begin reaching out to students the morning after they have moved into their isolation location. 

Step 8: The student is expected to stay in isolation room and avoid physical contact with others (excluding suitemates or apartment mates that are in the same isolation unit) until the determined isolation period is complete (up to 10 days). This duration will be determined by symptom onset date or test date, consistent with CDC guidance.

Step 9: SDSU Catering delivers lunch, dinner and breakfast (for next day) around noon Monday through Friday for each day in isolation. Meals and snacks for the weekend are included on Friday’s delivery.

Students may order additional food, groceries or other items using delivery app services such as doordash, grubhub and amazonfresh. Items should be delivered to the isolation location and will be held at the check-in table for pick-up, which is accessible 24/7. If students need medication, vitamins, or supplements, they must be dropped off by a pharmacy delivery system (like CVS pharmacy). 

Laundry pick up and delivery services are provided. The student can connect with their case manager for laundry needs. 

Any mail or packages may be retrieved after the isolation period is complete.

Step 10: The student completes the isolation period. 

Step 11: The student receives a call and email the morning of their release date with details on how to check out and return to their on-campus residence. The student should plan to leave by 12 p.m. on their release date. If the student has a conflict and needs to leave later in the day, they should let a housing representative know. Per CDC guidelines, student should not get re-tested for COVID-19 until 90 days after onset of symptoms. Students who have tested positive can be around others after:

  • 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
  • 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving*

*Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation​.


  • SDSU Catering (every day 8 a.m.-4 p.m.): 619-594-7641
  • SDSU Catering email (every day 7 a.m.-8 p.m.): [email protected]
  • Student Health Services: 619-594-4325
  • Nurse Advice Hotline (evenings & weekends): 858 255-3105
  • Medical Emergency: 911
  • Emergency Maintenance/Repairs: 619-594-8070

Quarantine Process

Here’s what to expect when a student is exposed to COVID-19 while living on-campus. 

Step 1: The student consults with Student Health Services. The student is advised to quarantine in their on-campus room unless otherwise recommended by Student Health Services. 

Step 2: Housing provides quarantine instructions. The student is expected to follow these instructions until the quarantine period is complete (up to 14 days).

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also, watch for signs or symptoms of COVID-19. Use the temperature log to monitor your temperature.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others to ensure your health and well-being and the wellness of others. Do not go to work or school. Do not take public transportation, taxis or ride-shares. You may leave your room for essential needs such as groceries, medicine/prescriptions, laundry, mail or for medical appointments.
  • Practice physical distancing from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

Step 3: The student is able to leave their room to conduct essential business including grocery store and dining pick up, laundry and mail.

The student is given the option of having meals delivered or purchasing meals on their own. If a student opts for meal delivery with SDSU Catering, all meal deliveries will be coordinated by SDSU Catering.

Students may use the laundry facilities at their assigned residence and retrieve mail from the mailbox. If a package arrives, the front desk will contact the student to pick up the package at a designated time. 

Step 4: SDSU staff members, serving as case managers, will text quarantined students daily to ensure support, provide assistance with any supplies or needs, and to connect student to resources

Step 5: The student completes the quarantine period. 


  • SDSU Catering (every day 8 a.m.-4 p.m.): 619-594-7641
  • SDSU Catering email (every day 7 a.m.-8 p.m.): [email protected]
  • Student Health Services: 619-594-4325
  • Nurse Advice Hotline (evenings & weekends): 858 255-3105
  • Medical Emergency: 911
  • Emergency Maintenance/Repairs: 619-594-8070