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How and where to self-isolate

Your health care provider or the university's contact tracing team will determine whether you need to quarantine or isolate and where to stay.

Updated: October 14, 2020

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Quarantine is for people who may have been exposed because of close contact with a COVID-19 case, travel, or other reasons.
  • Isolation is for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If you are asked to quarantine or isolate, you will have access to guidance and support throughout the process.
  • Virtual events and activities are a great option for students in quarantine or isolation.

There are two types of self-isolation.

  • Quarantine is for people who may have been exposed because of close contact with a COVID-19 case, travel, or other reasons.
  • Isolation is for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19.

Your health care provider or the university’s contact tracing team will determine whether you need to quarantine or isolate.

After you complete a self-isolation form, the contact tracing team will follow up with you—generally within 24 hours, but the response time can vary depending on case loads. Until you hear from them, you need to:

  • Stay in and limit trips to essential outings such as visits to a health care provider or buying food or necessities. Avoid public transportation. Maintain social distancing and wear a mask.
  • Do not go to in-person classes or participate in extracurricular activities.
  • If you share a room or living space, clean all shared surfaces with disinfecting wipes and wear your mask while around others.
  • Avoid close contact with others.

If you are asked to quarantine or isolate, you will have access to guidance and support throughout the process.

Where to quarantine or isolate

  • Employees and students who live off campus can typically quarantine or isolate where they live.
  • On-campus students may, in some cases, quarantine or isolate where they live.
  • On-campus students who cannot quarantine or isolate where they live will need to temporarily relocate to alternative housing arrangements.

Relocation assignments

The contact tracing team and University Housing will work with residential students to temporarily relocate them. Most university-arranged quarantine and isolation space is located off campus.

Residential students who need to relocate will receive an email that explains where they will go, how to get a key, and additional details. It also includes instructions to make meal requests. Read the entire email carefully.

Students will not be asked to move after 7 p.m.

While awaiting a quarantine or isolation assignment, students should:

  • Avoid unnecessary outings
  • Have food delivered or get grab-and-go food
  • Avoid close contact with others

What to bring

Residential students who need to temporarily relocate typically need two weeks of essentials.

  • Clothes
  • Medications
  • School materials
  • Phone chargers
  • Electronic devices
  • Snacks and beverages
  • Toiletries such as toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and deodorant

The university will provide a self-care kit with linens, a thermometer, face coverings, gloves, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer.

Once a student leaves their residence hall for quarantine or isolation, their building access will be turned off until they can return to campus. Students who forget an essential item can contact University Housing to have it brought to them.

Transportation

The university will provide transportation if needed for residential students who need to temporarily relocate. Students will not be transported after 7 p.m.

  1. Schedule transportation by calling Facilities Services at 865-946-7777.
  2. Go to the pickup location with your belongings at the scheduled time.

Transportation is provided only to quarantine or isolation locations, with a stop for key pickup if necessary.

Food

Students in quarantine or isolation have meal delivery options.

  • On-campus students with a Vol Dining meal plan can have meals delivered to them on campus or in university-provided space off campus.
  • On-campus students without a meal plan can have Vol Dining meals delivered to them on campus or in university-provided space. Meals will be charged to their flex plan, and students can add funds to their flex plan as needed.
  • Off-campus students with a Vol Dining meal plan or flex plan can request meal delivery. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, primarily based on how close the student is to campus.
  • Students in a fraternity or sorority house who have a meal plan with their organization will make meal arrangements through their chapter house.
  • Additional options include food delivery apps or restaurant delivery services.

Instructions to request meal delivery through Vol Dining are included in the email students receive when they are notified to relocate.

  • Submit your request before 10:30 a.m. to receive lunch and dinner delivery on the same day.
  • Submit your request by 5:30 p.m. for dinner delivery on the same day.
  • Requests submitted after 5:30 p.m. will start the following day.

Meals will be delivered twice daily for lunch and dinner. The dinner delivery includes a continental breakfast for the following day.

All university-arranged quarantine and isolation spaces have refrigerators and microwaves, and many have full kitchens.

Getting mail while relocated

UT Mail Services is here to help students living on campus who are relocated to quarantine or isolation housing.

Regular mail will be delivered to your residence hall and placed in your mailbox.

You have three options for package delivery while you are relocated to quarantine or isolation housing.

  1. Ask senders to ship directly to your quarantine or isolation location.
  2. Email tracking numbers for any packages you need right away to studentpackages@utk.edu, and Mail Services will get them to you.
  3. Pick up your packages after your quarantine or isolation period ends. Mail Services will deliver each package to a package locker, where it will be stored for three days. After three days, Mail Services will remove your package from the locker, hold it for you at Mail Services, and re-deliver it to a package locker after your quarantine or isolation period ends.

Email studentpackages@utk.edu with questions about shipping and packages. In situations that require immediate assistance, call 865-974-6245 or 865-974-5408.

Health and care

If you develop new or worsening symptoms while in quarantine or isolation, you should contact your health care provider or, if needed, your local emergency room.

View the CDC’s list of COVID-19 symptoms.

Learn more about what to do if you feel sick.

Students with health concerns can call the Student Health Center nurse triage line at 865-974-5080. The university has a nurse available to speak to students by phone 24 hours a day. After-hours care has been arranged for eligible students through the UT Medical Center emergency room at 865-305-9000. Learn more about Student Health Center eligibility and cost.

Always call 911 in case of emergency.

Members of the contact tracing team will regularly check on students in quarantine or isolation.

The university is not able to provide in-residence medical care, laundry, or cleaning services. As with any other serious illness, if you need additional support the preferred option will be for you to receive it at home or with your own caregiver off campus.

Your mental health is also important as you quarantine or isolate. Multiple resources are available, including 24/7 assistance for students and employees in distress.

Learn more about coping and support resources.

Academics

Students in quarantine or isolation should let instructors know that they cannot attend on-campus class sessions.

Unless they are too ill to do so, students should complete any online coursework and continue to attend online class sessions.

Instructors are asked to be creative, compassionate, and flexible in working with students to help them stay on track if they need to miss class. If a student’s quarantine, isolation, or health condition could affect their ability to participate in classes, they should communicate directly with their instructors.

If students need additional assistance after communicating with their instructors, they can complete the student absence notification form with the Office of the Dean of Students.

University-arranged quarantine or isolation spaces should have adequate Wi-Fi to take classes remotely. Students can contact the Office of Information Technology if they need assistance or the Wi-Fi is not working well.

What to do in quarantine or isolation

Stay in except to get medical care. Do not visit students in other rooms. If at all possible, have someone pick up food and necessities for you or have them delivered. If you must go out, avoid public transportation. Maintain social distancing and wear a mask.

Virtual events and activities

The university offers a wide selection of virtual events and activities, which are a great option for students in quarantine or isolation.

View virtual events.

Helpful CDC flyers

Download the following CDC flyers for additional guidance for quarantine and isolation.

When you can leave quarantine or isolation

Students and employees should follow guidance from their health care provider, the contact tracing team, or the Knox County Health Department on when they can end quarantine or isolation.

University Housing will reactivate students’ VolCard residence hall access when they leave quarantine or isolation.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
865-974-1000


The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.