Student Quarantine and Isolation Guide

Cal Poly is here to support students who have received a positive COVID-19 test, who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 symptoms or has the virus.

The university has created a plan and support team to guide students who need to quarantine, quarantine in place, or isolate to help ensure they don’t spread the virus to others.

As our response to the pandemic continues to evolve, please continue to check back for any updates to this support guide.

Monitor yourself for symptoms

We are asking you to monitor your health. Take your temperature twice daily and stay home if you feel sick. Wear a face covering when outside your home and when around others who are not from your household. If you think you have COVID-19, call Health Services at 805-756-1211 for further instruction.

People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms may include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Current and enrolled students will be able to access COVID-19 diagnostic testing at Campus Health and Wellbeing (CHW) free of charge, which will perform in-house viral testing of symptomatic students and close contacts if indicated.

Current and enrolled students who are symptomatic will be directed to self-quarantine in their rooms while an appointment is scheduled for viral testing with CHW.

What is Quarantine and Isolation?

Quarantine and isolation are two ways to prevent transmission of COVID-19 from one individual to another. Quarantine is a precautionary measure that keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others. Isolation separates those who have COVID-19 from others.

If you are in quarantine or isolation, you should monitor your health and seek medical attention if your condition worsens or if you need help.

Quarantine

If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you must self-quarantine for 14 days by county health order. Call Health Services at 805-756-1211 and a provider will discuss your situation. You may be asked to take a COVID-19 test. 

If you live on campus

You will receive daily communications to assess your symptoms. You are also encouraged to call the Health Center at any time if you have any concerns. A member of the university support team will contact you to coordinate your needs during the 14-day period. You may be moved to a separate room or apartment to quarantine.

Support provided to students in quarantine on campus

  • IT support: Provided virtually through the Student Affairs Technology group. Go to the UH website and submit a help request for support.
  • Laundry: Service will be provided by Kare Teem Cleaning Service, a local family owned business.
  • Self-cleaning: Supplies and directions for cleaning will be provided. Students should leave their trash outside their door for custodial services to pick up
  • Campus Dining: Regular meals will be delivered by Campus Dining. Breakfast will be provided between 8-9 a.m., lunch from noon-1 p.m., and dinner between 5-6 p.m. Campus Dining will ensure that all staff adhere to contactless deliveries. Meals will be dropped off an at exterior apartment/room door. Culturally appropriate meals will be provided by request.
  • Medication: Students will be responsible for coordinating the delivery of personal medications. An exception may be made on a case-by-case basis.   

If you have any questions, email iqst@calpoly.edu.

Students on or off campus in quarantine should:

  • Stay in your room/apartment. Do not leave for any reason, including to attend in-person class or work.
  • If you have in-person classes, contact your faculty member to make alternate arrangements.
  • Avoid contact with other people, and wear a face covering in shared spaces, such as a shared restroom.
  • Avoid sharing dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets. After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water. 
  • Self-monitor body temperature and overall health and wellness.
  • Stay in close contact with and follow the advice of a health care provider, the university and/or local public health officials.
  • Call Health Services at 805-756-1211 if changes occur to your overall health and well-being during the 14-day period, especially if you exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.

Quarantine in Place

In the event of possible exposures in University Housing facilities, the university can, as a precaution, place floors or sections of buildings on “Quarantine in Place” for 14 days, in consultation with San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Health.

If you live on campus and are directed to quarantine in place

  • During quarantine in place, students in the affected areas are asked to stay in their rooms with their doors closed as much as possible. This includes not attending in-person classes or workplaces. Students may — while wearing a face covering — leave their rooms briefly for food and mail pickup or essential supplies, to obtain healthcare, to take out trash, to use common bathroom facilities, or to walk or sit by themselves, away from others.  
  • Students attending in-person classes who are asked to quarantine in place are directed to connect as soon as possible with their faculty members to discuss accommodations.

Support provided to students who are directed to quarantine in place

  • The university will stay in contact with students to provide support and coordination for housing and health education, as well as provide regular mental and physical health checks for the students in on-campus isolation or quarantine.
  • Faculty may be contacted as needed to provide accommodations to students in isolation or quarantine.
  • The university will test affected students for COVID-19 twice during the quarantine period, at dates specified by the San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Health.

Isolation

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you will be directed by county health order to separate yourself from others who are not sick by self-isolating for at least 10 days. Per the CDC, you can be around others if it has been 10 days since your symptoms first appeared, you haven’t had a fever in at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications, and your symptoms have improved.

If you receive a positive COVID-19 test and live on campus

  • A representative from Campus Health and Wellbeing will contact you with further instructions.
  • You will be moved to a designated isolation space on or off campus.
  • A member of the university support team will contact you to arrange your move and will coordinate your move back to your apartment or residence hall once you are cleared to return.
  • You will receive daily communications to assess your symptoms. Call Health Services at 805-756-1211 at any time if you have any concerns. 
  • If you have in-person classes, contact your faculty member to make alternate arrangements.
  • Someone from the public health department will call you for contact tracing — to check on your health, discuss who you have been around, and ask where you spent time while you may have been able to spread COVID-19 to others. The contact tracer will ask with whom you’ve been in close contact. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours before the person had any symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19, according to the CDC.
  • Isolation ends when you are released from isolation by the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department.

Support provided to students in isolation on campus

  • IT support: Provided virtually through the Student Affairs Technology group. Go to the UH website and submit a help request for support.
  • Laundry: Service will be provided by Kare Teem Cleaning Service, a local family owned business.
  • Self-cleaning: Supplies and directions for cleaning will be provided. Students should leave their trash outside their door for custodial services to pick up
  • Campus Dining: Regular meals will be delivered by Campus Dining. Breakfast will be provided between 8-9 a.m., lunch from noon–1 p.m., and dinner between 5-6 p.m. Campus Dining will ensure that all staff adhere to contactless deliveries. Meals will be dropped off an at exterior apartment/room door. Culturally appropriate meals will be provided by request.
  • Medication: Students will be responsible for coordinating the delivery of personal medications. An exception may be made on a case-by-case basis.   

If you have any questions, email iqst@calpoly.edu.

If you receive a positive COVID-19 test and live off campus

  • Off-campus students should expect to quarantine or isolate at home. You will be directed to self-isolate in your home/room for at least 10 days by county health order.
  • You will receive regular calls from a county public health official. If you do not have a place to isolate, let the county public health official know or contact the Dean of Students office.
  • Someone from the public health department will call you for contact tracing — to check on your health, discuss who you have been around, and ask where you spent time while you may have been able to spread COVID-19 to others. The contact tracer will ask with whom you’ve been in close contact. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours before the person had any symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19, according to the CDC.
  • If you have in-person classes, contact your faculty member to make alternate arrangements.
  • Stay in your home/room and avoid contact with other people. You should remain in isolation for at least 10 days. Do not leave for any reason, including to attend in-person class or work.
  • Avoid sharing dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets. After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water. 
  • Self-monitor your temperature and overall health and wellness. Call Health Services at 805-756-1211 if any changes occur to your overall health and well-being.
  • Seek medical care immediately if your condition worsens, if you have difficulty breathing, or other health concerns.

What to Bring

If you are living on campus and asked to move to an isolation or quarantine room on campus, you will have time to pack necessary items. Bring only what you need for up to 14 days, leave most of your belongings in your permanent room. These could include:

  • Clothing
  • Toiletries
  • Identification cards
  • Medications and prescriptions
  • Thermometer and fever-reducing medications
  • Personal care items (e.g., feminine hygiene products)
  • Cell phone, and/or tablet, and/or laptop, plus chargers
  • School materials (e.g. textbooks, notebooks, etc.) needed to continue classwork
  • Pet and pet supplies for students with preapproved Emotional Support Animals & Service Animals

Support

Students are encouraged to reach out to the following Cal Poly supportive services to help their transition into quarantine or isolation.

Campus Health and Wellbeing

CHW has a 24/7 after-hours nurse advice line to discuss any health-related concerns privately and confidentially.

CHW has Peer Wellness Coaching available Monday through Friday to offer support and connection. Please attend one of the open Zoom rooms to connect with a Cal Poly peer.

  • Call-ins: call or text 805-242-6322, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, between 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3-5 p.m.
  • Zoom Room: Tuesday and Thursday, between 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3-5 p.m, Zoom Room (99165022742)
  • Virtual Meetings: Contact Wellbeing@calpoly.edu (subject line: Connect & Support)

Counseling Services

Counseling Services remains committed to supporting the well-being of all students during these challenging times. The full range of services is has been transitioned to a virtual format. Visit the Counseling website for more information or call to schedule an appointment.

Disability Resource Center (DRC)

How the DRC Can Help
The DRC is available to explore accommodations for students who are COVID-19 positive and having challenges with progressing in their coursework. Examples of possible accommodations include excused absences, note taking support, extended testing time, make-up exams and extended due dates.

DRC assistance is also available for students with disability related needs in the area of interacting with others or managing day to day life activities.

If you're quarantined and experiencing challenges with receiving accommodations from an instructor, the DRC can help you navigate those conversations.

DRC Contact Information

Academic Advising

First-year students with academic questions and concerns should contact the Mustang Success Center, which includes virtual drop-in advising.

Continuing students and incoming transfer students should contact their college advising center for virtual advising.

Advising Websites

If you have any questions, email the Isolation and Quarantine support team at iqst@calpoly.edu.

Expectations: On Campus and in San Luis Obispo County

During the school year, all students and their supporters must comply with local public health recommendations in all circumstances to slow the spread of COVID-19. This includes on-campus and off-campus activities. Local public health recommendations include:

  • Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth when in public.
  • Stay six feet apart from others.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.
  • Avoid in-person gatherings with people who don’t live with you.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.

The university also expects students to comply with the safety enhancement zone established by the city of San Luis Obispo.

It is critical for the health and safety of our campus community that everyone follows all COVID-19 related protocols, including physical distancing, proper wearing of face coverings, and following local ordinances related to gatherings.

All students are expected to comply with these protocols.

Failure to follow the campus protocols will result in student conduct action, which could include suspension or expulsion. More information can be found on the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

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