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Isolation & Quarantine Guidelines

Last updated on June 27, 2022

To ensure the safest campus environment possible, SCU will support positive COVID-19 cases or close contacts in isolation or quarantine for an amount of time prescribed by the CDC and/or Santa Clara County Department of Health. These guidelines are subject to change as the university continues to  respond to the changing trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the University becomes aware of a resident student with a positive COVID-19 test result, the SCU COVID Support Team is activated to ensure the student is isolated and, as appropriate, that close contacts are quarantined. 

You must isolate for at least 5 days. To leave isolation, your symptoms must be gone or resolving, and a rapid antigen test (not a PCR or Color test) must be negative. Each time you take a rapid test while in isolation, take a picture of your test and submit the results to Cowell as instructed below.

  • Take a rapid antigen test on day 5. If the test is negative AND you do not have symptoms or if your symptoms are resolving, you may leave isolation after being cleared by Cowell.
  • If the rapid antigen test taken on day 5 is positive, you must remain in isolation until at least day 7. Take a rapid antigen test on day 7.
  • Isolation can end if symptoms are not present or are resolving, and the rapid antigen test is negative.
  • If the rapid antigen test taken on day 7 is positive, you must remain in isolation until you test negative, or until after day 10. PLEASE NOTE: If the "test" line on your rapid test is very faint on day 7, you are fever free, and your symptoms have improved, you may test again on day 8 and/or 9. If your test is negative on day 8 or 9, isolation may end. You do not need to test on day 10 if you are fever free and symptoms have improved.
  • If you leave isolation before day 10, you must wear a well-fitting mask through day 10.

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 you do not need to quarantine. Get tested on day 3-5 and please wear a mask for 10 days.  See testing protocol page for more information.

Students who live ≤ 30 miles from campus will be encouraged to isolate or quarantine at home, if they can do so safely without using public transportation. 

Students who fail to comply with the university quarantine and isolation requirements may have their housing contract canceled and may be subject to fines and cancellation fees.


Here’s what to expect when a student tests positive for COVID-19 while living in on-campus housing*. 

*On-campus housing includes students with a housing contract through SCU. It does not include students in privately-owned off-campus housing.

Step 1: The student is notified of their positive COVID-19 test by the university, by the County of Santa Clara, or by their off-campus medical provider. If not tested at SCU, the student should report their positive test (PCR or rapid antigen) as soon as possible to the university by completing the Off-Campus Testing - Positive COVID-19  form.

Step 2: The student is contacted by a member of the SCU COVID Support Team to confirm next steps and offer support, contacts, and resources.  Students must check their SCU email account regularly and respond quickly to communications about COVID-19.

Step 3: : The SCU COVID Support Team provides instructions to the student for isolating in place, returning home for isolation, or transfer to SCU isolation housing, if housing is available. 

Step 4: If relocating for isolation, student is asked to pack essential items including:

  • Clothing for up to 10 days (there is no laundry access)
  • Prescription medication (if applicable) 
  • Shampoo / Conditioner / Soap
  • Toothpaste/Toothbrush
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Laptop
  • Cell phone
  • Chargers
  • Course materials

Step 5: The student is expected to stay in isolation in their residence hall or in SCU isolation space and avoid physical contact with others (excluding other students in the same isolation unit) until the determined isolation period is complete (up to 10 days). This duration will be determined by test date.

 Step 6: Any mail or packages may be retrieved after the isolation period is complete.

 Step 7: Follow test out instruction from COVID Operations team.



  • Cowell Health: 408-554-4501
  • Campus Safety: 408-554-4441
  • Housing Operations: 408-554-4900
  • Medical Emergency: 911