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 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.

Spring 2021 arrivals: Refer to the university's arrival testing and quarantine information on covid.cornell.edu.

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 during COVID-19’s incubation period (14 days), and/or while they await test results. 

Reasons for quarantine 

Students may directed by the Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) or Cornell Health to self-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 14 days)
  • Students who have recently traveled and are advised to quarantine (by a health care provider, or due to travel advisories)

How to self-quarantine 

Students are expected to self-quarantine in their residence, if they are able to do so. Students who cannot safely self-quarantine in their residence are provided with private quarantine housing and meals. 

Those who are directed to self-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 self-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

Students in quarantine are contacted daily Cornell Health staff members to help students monitor their health and any symptoms that may emerge.

It is important to take your temperature daily and closely monitor symptoms while self-quarantining. Symptoms may appear 2-14 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 and be screened for COVID-19 testing at Cornell Health. 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.

Caring for your mental health

Despite being physically separate from others, it is important to stay connected with friends and family, and engaged virtually in classes and campus activities. The Campus Activities Office, for example, will offer a variety of virtual programming beginning in early August and continuing throughout the semester.

But if your mental health and resilience feel taxed during quarantine, you are not alone. Please reach out for support if you need it:

  • Visit our Coping During COVID-19 webpage to find ideas, resources, and services to support your well-being.
  • Call Cornell Health 24/7 to speak with a licensed therapist (607-255-5155, #2).
  • Attend a Let’s Talk drop-in Zoom consultation with a CAPS counselor or an online CAPS workshop
  • Schedule a telehealth appointment with a Cornell Health provider.
  • Connect with someone now through one of these recommended hotlines or textlines, including options especially for students of color and LGBTQ students.