Quarantine for COVID-19

Sample Health Log

While in quarantine, it is important to monitor your temperature (°F) and record any symptoms each day.

Day Date


Temp Symptoms

If you develop symptoms (fever above 100.4 ˚F plus cough or shortness of breath) or you need medical triage/help while in quarantine, please call your local health department, whose staff can help determine if you should leave the premises to seek medical attention.


Fall 2020 information:

Quarantine information for students returning to campus for the fall semester will be available soon. In the meantime, please refer to the university’s COVID-19 website as the main source of information for campus-wide updates and resources.

Spring / Summer 2020 information:

Who should be in quarantine?

If you, your health care provider, or someone at your local health department has reason to believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you may be asked to quarantine, which means staying in a specific designated location (i.e., your home) away from others, for the purpose of observing and monitoring your health status for the development of symptoms.

Refer to our Do I need to stay out of circulation for COVID-19? guide to learn more.

Typically, a COVID-19-related quarantine lasts for 14 days, but this length may vary if directed by your health care provider or the local health department.

If you are in Ithaca, and you do not have an appropriate living space in which to self-quarantine, contact Student and Campus Life (vpscl@cornell.edu) for assistance. 

Follow the rules while you're laying low

You can still connect with friends and family via computer and phone. However, it’s important you do not break quarantine for 14 days, or until approved by your health care provider or the health department. 

Limits that apply to you during your time in quarantine:

  • Do not leave your quarantine location for any non-essential reason. 
  • Do not use public transportation or go to shopping centers. 
  • Do not have friends or family with you in your isolation room or apartment, unless they have been approved by your health care provider.
  • Do wear a face mask if you need to use a shared bathroom, go to a health care appointment, etc.

Monitor your symptoms

Symptoms related to COVID-19 include: 

  • fever (above 100.4 ˚F)
  • cough
  • shortness of breath

While in quarantine, it is important that you take your temperature daily and record any symptoms on a health log (see sample on this page). If you develop a fever (above 100.4 ˚F) or need medical triage or other assistance while in quarantine, please call your local health department, whose staff can help determine if you should leave the premises to seek medical attention.

Health care supplies

You should have the following supplies with you during the time you are in quarantine: 

  • Digital thermometer (for daily use)
  • Temperature & symptom log (see sample on this page)
  • Hand sanitizer (for times you can’t wash)
  • Alcohol wipes (for cleaning, as needed)
  • Face masks (when available) to wear if in a shared space, or to a health care appointment if needed

Common feelings

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations such as an infectious disease outbreak that require changes in location or behavior. When you’re out of circulation for a few days, you may experience a range of feelings, including:

  • Anxiety, worry, or fear related to your health status or that of others
  • Feeling special; like you’re having an adventure
  • Anger or resentment of the inconvenience
  • Worry about not having your things with you or not doing your usual routine
  • Uncertainty or concern about how long you will need to remain in this situation
  • Excitement to have some alone time to rest and catch up on reading
  • Loneliness or feeling cut off
  • Boredom and frustration
  • Sadness or depression
  • Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Coping with COVID-19

Visit our Coping During COVID-19 webpage to find resources and access services to support your well-being.

Support is a call or text away

Students who need support right now can contact:

  • Cornell Health (24/7) to speak with a licensed therapist: call 607-255-5155 and press 2
  • Ithaca Crisisline: 800-273-8255
  • National Crisis text line: Text HELLO to 741741 
  • Steve Fund crisis text line: Text STEVE to 741741 (connects you to a crisis counselor of color)
  • Trevor Project text line: Text START to 678678 (for LGBTQ+ students)