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Covid Guide for Residential Students What to Know About Isolating in Your Room

If you're living in AU Housing and test positive from Covid, here's what you need to know about next steps. Remember: You're not alone! The AU Covid Student Support Team is here to help you through this time.

The Four Steps 

Step 1: Report

As soon as you get your results, isolate in your room and submit the Self-Reporting Form immediately. 

Step 2: Communicate

You will be contacted by the AU COVID-19 Student Support team between 8 AM-5 PM daily. In the first email, you'll learn about the self-isolation process, how to get meals, and other resources and protocols. The Support Team will reach out to you directly throughout your isolation to check up on you. Lastly, The COVID-19 Student Support team will help you understand the details of your clearance release from in-place isolation.

Questions? Reply to the email you receive after self-reporting. 

Step 3: Isolate

Self-Isolation separates people with a contagious disease (whether or not they are symptomatic) from people who have not contracted it. Individuals who live off-campus isolate at home while masking and distancing from family members or roommates. If you live in AU-operated housing and test positive, you must either:

  • Self-isolate in you room for the full length of isolation, which can be 6 days* or longer (depending on symptoms); or, 
  • Find alternate arrangements for housing outside of AU Housing spaces (such as at home) during isolation. Students will not be relocated and will not be permitted to move to any other residence hall during the isolation period. Students should not travel using public transportation or stay at a hotel. If you are making alternative arrangements, please reply to the isolation email to discuss your plans. 

Day Zero is the day you test positive. So if you test positive on Monday, isolate immediately; then isolate for five full days (Tuesday-Saturday). On Day Six, Sunday, you may leave isolation while masking.

Step 4: Release

After five full days of isolation, if you have no symptoms you will be released from isolation through an email from the AU Covid Student Support Team that releases you from isolation. You must continue to mask for an additional five days. 

In other words, if you test positive on Monday and leave isolation on Sunday, which is Day Six, you must mask all day on Days Seven through Ten - meaning Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Friday would be the first day without a mask if desired.

All About Isolating in Your Room

Basic Rules

When isolating, the goal is to stay apart from others — which means staying in your room, with limited exceptions. Here are the guidelines:

  • Residents ARE permitted to leave their rooms to access restrooms, for food pickup (at AU Kitchen or food delivery), complete laundry, pick up mail/packages, or for any medical needs or testing, They must be mindful of the community and work to limit trips - so please do bulk shopping, pick up in advance, or otherwise reduce their footprint outside of the room. In the event of an evacuation from the building (such as fire alarm), the student must evacuate and maintain a six-foot distance from other students until allowed to return.
  • Residents MUST LIMIT in-person interactions with others. Do not go to any common space outside the room or utilize lounges, designated study or meeting spaces, or community kitchens while in isolation. 
  • Students in isolation MUST wear a KN95 or equivalent mask outside of the room at all times, and inside the room if it is a shared space. Students in single rooms and students whose roommate also has COVID are not required to wear a mask while in their room.


Roommates of isolating students:

  • Are not considered to be in isolation or quarantine. There are no restrictions placed on roommates of students in isolation.
  • Will not be relocated. The roommate can seek alternate lodging outside of AU (such as at home or off-campus) at their own expense. 
  • Are highly encouraged to mask during their roommate's isolation period, both inside and outside the room.
  • May be asked to test. The roommate is not viewed as a student with COVID but may be asked to test. If at any time the roommate becomes positive, they must also isolate in place.

Guest policy

No guests are allowed in any room of any student who is currently isolating. A resident in isolation may NOT visit anyone else's room on-campus. 


Work with your faculty members directly to make alternative arrangements as necessary while you are self-isolating or recuperating. If you’ve submitted your positive results via the AU portal, you’ll be provided with a letter from the Office of the Dean of Students to share with your faculty and advisor. You can also contact your academic advisor or the Office of the Dean of Students for additional support as needed. 


For dining while in isolation, use either food delivery (such as Grub Hub) or pre-order for pickup from AU Kitchen (TDR). Do NOT go to non-TDR food outlets (such as Starbucks, Subway, the Bridge, True Burger, etc.), as that involves standing in line.

Food Delivery: Please leave your room to pick up any delivered food. As always, you must wear your mask while walking through the hall. 

AU Kitchen: Order by text for pickup from Terrace Dining Room (TDR). In your email from the AU Covid Student Support Team, you'll receive an "Isolation Meal” text number to chat with dining staff. 

Here are the basics:

  • Text your order, with your name and estimated pickup time, at least one hour prior to pickup. Options will include the usual TDR choices (including vegan, vegetarian, allergy friendly, kosher, halal, etc.)
  • Meals will be picked up at the TDR front desk/cashier.
  • Do not enter the dining hall
  • As always when outside your room during isolation, wear a KN95 mask or equivalent.

Other Deliveries

You may pick up packages from mail services (wearing a mask and following all protocols).

You may also have packages delivered to the building, but will need to leave the room (wearing a mask and following all protocols) to pick them up from the delivery person. The front desk cannot hold items. 

Mental Health Resources & Coping Support

Struggling emotionally? For counseling services, contact (202-885-3500) or reach out 24/7 to AU ProtoCall (202-885-7979).

For personalized tips and tools for wellbeing, coping, and goal-setting (including academics, personal, and other goals), please check out AU's customizable wellness platform,