Quarantine for COVID-19

Quarantine housing FAQs

Visit our Quarantine & Isolation FAQs page for students in university-provided quarantine housing.

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 consistent with COVID-19, call Cornell Health during business hours (607-255-5155) to consult with a nurse and be screened for COVID-19 testing.


Please refer to Cornell’s COVID-19 website as the main source for campus-wide updates and information. 

Travel-related quarantine:

Reasons for quarantine 

Quarantine is for individuals without symptoms of COVID-19. Its purpose is to keep individuals away from others while they self-monitor for the development of symptoms of COVID-19, and/or while they await test results. 

Students may directed by Cornell University, Cornell Health, or the Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) to quarantine for any of the following reasons. 

Quarantine is required for:

  • Asymptomatic students who have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting results (length of time may vary)
  • Students identified through contact tracing as someone who has been in contact with a known COVID-19 case, during which they are monitored for symptoms (typically 10 days)
  • Students who are advised to quarantine due to travel advisories

Information for vaccinated students:

Asymptomatic students who are vaccinated against COVID-19 are exempt from mandatory quarantine. Students must have received both doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and be two weeks past their last dose. To be eligible for an exemption, students must upload proof of vaccination through the Daily Check.

How to quarantine 

Students may be directed to quarantine in their residence if they can do so safety. Other students with known exposure to COVID-19 will be provided with private quarantine housing and meals. 

Those who are directed to quarantine must follow these guidelines: 

  • Do not leave your quarantine location for any non-essential reason.
  • Do wear a face covering, practice physical distancing, wash hands frequently, and sanitize high-touch areas if you have been approved to quarantine in a shared living space.
  • Do not have visitors to your quarantine location, unless they have been approved by your health care provider.
  • Do have food and supplies delivered:

If you are directed by a medical provider to temporarily leave your quarantine location (for example, to get tested for COVID-19, or to attend a related medical appointment): 

  • Do walk or drive alone to your destination (avoiding the use of public or shared transportation). 
  • Do wear a face covering and maintain 6 feet of distance from others at all times. 
  • Do return immediately to your quarantine location when you are finished. 

Monitoring your symptoms

It is important to take your temperature daily and closely monitor symptoms while quarantining.

Students who are in quarantine due to known COVID-19 exposure are contacted daily by Cornell Health staff members to help them monitor their health and any symptoms that may emerge. Symptoms may appear 2-10 days after exposure to the virus. 

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • 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

If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, call Cornell Health during business hours (607-255-5155) to consult with a nurse. You may also call Cornell Health after hours for consultation with an on-call provider about symptoms or concerns. 

If you or someone else develop life-threatening symptoms – including trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face – call 911 immediately.

    About contact tracing

    If you test positive for COVID-19 and are asked to identify people with whom you have recently interacted, your honesty is crucial to helping control the spread of COVID-19 in our community. The information you provide will not be used to penalize any student for their behavior.  

    Caring for your mental health