Student Isolation/Quarantine Protocols

Updated Oct. 13, 2020

SPU has developed isolation and quarantine protocols to address situations when students test positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact with others who test positive for COVID-19. The information below summarizes current protocols and may be updated periodically. 

Isolation and Quarantine Generally

A residential student will be placed in isolation if the student tests positive for COVID-19 or if there is strong evidence to suggest the student may have COVID-19. SPU has reserved residential units on campus to be used for isolation housing for residential students, and residential students may also choose to isolate off campus (e.g., at home). Students may return to their regularly assigned campus residential units when Health Services determines that isolation is no longer required.

Residential students will be placed into quarantine if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, but they are not exhibiting symptoms and they have not tested positive. At the discretion of SPU Health Services, residential students may also be placed in quarantine if they have been in close contact with someone who is suspected of having COVID-19 and is awaiting a test result, but generally residential students will not be placed in quarantine until a close contact has tested positive for COVID-19. Students who share a common bathroom will generally be treated as “close contacts” of each other. For example, this means that if a student in Ashton Hall or Hill Hall tests positive for COVID-19, the rest of the floor may be placed in quarantine.  Residential students generally will quarantine in their regularly assigned residential units but may also choose to quarantine off campus (e.g., at home).

When a residential student is placed in isolation pending the outcome of a COVID-19 test, SPU will notify other residential students who are close contacts that they may be placed in quarantine if the results of the test are positive. The notification will not identify the name of the student being tested. The notification will remind the students to be vigilant with health and safety protocols (e.g., face coverings, hand washing) and recommend that they limit interactions with others outside of their residence until test results have been received. Any time SPU sends such a notification, it will also provide an update once the results of the test are known, informing the close contacts whether or not they will be required to quarantine.

Non-residential students who are asked to isolate or quarantine will need to do so off campus. 

Determinations by SPU Health Services

Any student experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 should notify SPU Health Services first. Health Services should not take reports of symptoms or exposures in students from faculty, coaches, or supervisors, but needs to speak directly with students. Health Services is willing to advise and evaluate all students, residential and nonresidential. Health Services will determine when SPU students should be placed in isolation or quarantine and when students are no longer required to be in isolation or quarantine. Health Services staff will follow county, state, and CDC guidelines for determining when students are no longer required to be in isolation.

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must remain in isolation at least 10 days. Also, the student must be free of fever (without fever reducing medicine), and other symptoms must be much improved, for at least 24 hours before release from isolation. Typically, quarantine will last two weeks. However, per guidance from the CDC, Health Services may extend the quarantine if there is another positive COVID-19 test among fellow students in the same quarantined area.

Support for Students in Isolation and Quarantine

If SPU places a student in isolation on campus, SPU staff will assist the student in moving to the isolation unit and will clean the vacated area. SPU Health Services will determine whether family members or close contacts should be notified and whether any other students should be placed in quarantine. If SPU instructs residential students to isolate or quarantine on campus, SPU staff will work with those students regarding their academic and living needs. For specific information about meals, laundry, and mail, see below. An SPU staff point of contact (typically a staff member from the Office of Student Life or Office of Residence Life) will be assigned to students in isolation or quarantine if they have questions about University services. Health Services will also check in with students in isolation and quarantine on a regular basis. 

If students choose to quarantine on campus on their own initiative, separate from SPU instruction, SPU staff may not necessarily be available to provide the same assistance.  

Community Notification

SPU has created a webpage that identifies reports of individuals on campus who test positive for COVID-19, which may include students, employees, or guests. Due to confidentiality considerations, the webpage will not identify the name of any individual placed in isolation, and SPU administration will not publicly identify individuals or sections of residential facilities that are placed in quarantine.

Rules for Isolation and Quarantine

When students are in isolation or quarantine on campus, they are required to remain in the isolation or quarantine space at all times, absent medical need, emergency evacuation, or other exception permitted by Health Services or the Office of Residence Life. Students in isolation or quarantine are not permitted to have guests. For any residential area placed in quarantine, no student should go into another student’s room, all students should wear masks in shared spaces, and all students should disinfect shared surfaces and wash hands frequently. Students who do not follow quarantine and isolation instructions may be removed from SPU housing.

Specific Information about Meals, Laundry, and Mail


  • Each student placed in isolation or quarantine is eligible to order up to three meals a day to be delivered to the unit where the student is living. Students will use the GET app (the same app that links to the Falcon card for meal-plan management) to order the meals (full instructions are provided to students when they are placed in isolation or quarantine). Meal orders through the GET app must be submitted by 2:30 p.m. each day in order to receive meals in the daily delivery, starting at 5 p.m. Available meals are dinner on the day of ordering, and breakfast and lunch for the following day.
  • At the end of the isolation/quarantine period, the Office of Housing and Meal Plans will bill for the meals that a student received by deducting meal swipes from the student’s meal plan. If a student does not have a meal plan or does not have sufficient meal swipes, deductions will be made to the student’s Dining Dollars, followed by Falcon Funds, at the rate of $10 per meal. If a student also does not have Dining Dollars or Falcon Funds, the Office of Housing and Meal Plans will add Falcon Funds to the student’s account to cover the balance owed for the meals ordered, charging the student’s Student Financial Services account.
  • Students should not let the meal cost keep them from ordering enough meals to be well-nourished during isolation/quarantine. Students who think the cost of meals is prohibitive should use this application form to apply for meal assistance through “Swipe Out Hunger.”
  • Problem with an order? Call 206-281-2356 to speak with the dining supervisor.
  • Problem with the GET app? Email
  • Questions about your meal plan or charges? Contact (this inbox is checked M–F, 9–4:30 p.m.)


  • If a student’s isolation/quarantine unit does not have a washer/dryer, the student is eligible for one bag of laundry to be washed, dried, and folded, free of charge per week. Students must opt in to receive this service.  To opt in, students should reply to the email the Office of University Services sends to isolated/quarantined students each Monday of their isolation/quarantine duration. That email will give instructions for how to receive a laundry bag for the first laundry order. To receive laundry service in the weeks following the first order, students must continue to opt in by responding to the Monday email each week. Students who have a washer/dryer in their isolation/quarantine unit are not eligible for this service.
  • Questions about this laundry service should be sent to (the inbox is checked M–F, 9–4:30 p.m.).


  • Students placed in isolation/quarantine on campus will have their mail, including all packages, delivered to their residential unit entrance once daily, starting at 5 p.m. Students do not need to do anything to opt-in to this service.
  • Questions about mailing should be sent to (the inbox is checked M–F, 9–4:30 p.m.).

Off-Campus Programs

The protocols outlined above apply to SPU’s operations at its Seattle campus. If SPU conducts off-campus programs for students (e.g., at Blakely Island Field Station or Camp Casey Conference Center), different isolation or quarantine protocols may apply.