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What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Last Updated December 28, 2020


TCU community members who have been identified as a close contact to a COVID-positive person will be called by a contact tracer to discuss quarantine. This means you will be required to quarantine and get a COVID test even if you don’t have symptoms.

Quarantine means that you primarily stay in your room. For any in-person class, you will temporarily shift to an online format. You may leave your room to use the restroom, do laundry, pick up to-go food, or get outdoor exercise. We ask that you are extra vigilant with personal hygiene, physical distancing and face coverings. You will not be allowed to attend meetings or hang out with anyone other than your roommate/suitemates (distanced appropriately).

Assuming you have a negative test and your symptoms improve, you will receive instruction to end your quarantine after 10 days from exposure. If you test positive, your status is moved from quarantine to isolation.

Student Quarantine Instructions


Isolation is stricter than quarantine as you will not be able to leave your room except to receive medical care due to the potential to spread the virus to others.

We expect that community members who test positive for COVID-19 will isolate in their bedroom if they have access to a private bathroom and do not share a room. Otherwise, the student will be moved to an isolation location provided by the university. Isolation space is located on campus and near TCU in off-campus apartments where TCU has secured space.

If on campus, TCU will bring meals to your isolation location, arrange for laundry if necessary, provide telehealth assessments and offer virtual support efforts.

Off-campus students should develop a plan to accomplish isolation if a roommate becomes ill. Off-campus students will receive telehealth assessment and virtual support efforts. TCU Care Coordinators will assist both on-campus and off-campus students in isolation.

Isolation ends after 10 days from the onset of symptoms AND 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of a fever reducing medication) AND symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) have improved.

Student Isolation Instructions