Spring 2021 Quarantine and Testing FAQ

January 8, 2021

Dear Students:

The Eastman Offices of Student Affairs and Residential Life have received many emails with questions about quarantine and testing for undergraduates as it relates to return to housing for spring term 2021.  

In this email, we’ve tried to provide answers to many of the common (and not so common) questions we have been receiving.  Before emailing us with questions, please read through these FAQs and the answers provided.  If you still have questions, please do reach out and we will do our best to get you answers to your questions. Students and families can also check the University’s COVID-19 resource page for additional information https://www.rochester.edu/coronavirus-update/


Who is not required to quarantine? Who must quarantine?

Students coming from a CDC Level 1 country or from New York State, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, or Massachusetts are not required to quarantine.

Students coming from CDC Level 2, 3 and 4 countries and those students from states other than NY, NJ, PA, VT, MA, and CT are required to complete a quarantine prior to returning to campus. This means that you cannot enter any buildings (ex. main hall, practice rooms, library, student living center, etc.) until you complete this quarantine.


What are the quarantine options?

Students may opt for one of the fixed date hotel quarantines (specific dates between January 20 and February 2); flexible date hotel option (define your own date starting February 1 and running through early March); or an alternative quarantine location.  The alternative quarantine location can include staying off campus in a friend’s apartment, at an Airbnb, a different hotel option, etc.  If a student is opting for the alternative option, the testing prior to arrival, three days of quarantine (not leaving that location), and testing on the fourth day by UHS all apply. Eastman Students should plan on arriving with enough time to start their ensembles and classes no later than Feb 1st.


Where do I sign up for quarantine?

Go to the River Campus Residential Life website https://www.rochester.edu/reslife/ and look for the yellow banner announcement section.  


Is any kind of testing required prior to arrival for quarantine?

Students must have a COVID test (type not specified) within three days of departure from their location, arrive in Rochester, quarantine three days; and on the fourth day take another COVID test (which will be a rapid test) through UHS.  It is not necessary to have the results of the initial (pre-departure) test when you arrive in New York, but when you go for the test on the fourth day you must be able to show them the negative result at that time. 


Are there other specifics for the fixed date and flexible date quarantines?

If you will be participating in one of the fixed date or flexible date quarantines at one of the local hotels, you must arrive on the day of the start of the fixed date quarantine or the date you specified for your flexible date quarantine.  Please send/upload a screen shot of proof of your COVID test to https://uhsconnect.ur.rochester.edu/ in advance of your arrival in Rochester.  You do not have to have the results of the test at that time, just proof that you have received the test.  

At the point of testing on the fourth day, you must be able to show UHS that the initial test came back negative.  Do not sign up in advance for a testing time.  UHS and Residential Life will coordinate a specific signup for quarantining students that coincides with the release from hotel quarantine on the fourth day.  


What must be done if I am signed up to quarantine at an alternative location?

For students who will be quarantining in an alternative location, you will sign up for a testing time on your own through https://uhsconnect.ur.rochester.edu/.  You cannot move back to campus without having this COVID test through UHS.  The earliest students are able to return to campus will be January 23 – your appointment is your testing time, followed by move-in.  Please be sure to bring the results of the first COVID test when you arrive at the testing site in Goergen Athletic Center Field House.  Please identify yourself to UHS staff as having completed an alternative quarantine and they will ask to see your test results from your first test before you are allowed to proceed for the second COVID test.


Do I need to be tested before moving into the residence halls if I don’t need to quarantine?

Yes, all undergraduate students living in residence halls (both River Campus and Eastman) must have a COVID test on the River Campus before moving in to the residence halls.  This includes both new and returning students.

Testing is typically offered at national drugstore chains, urgent care and municipal sites. Students should check their county, state or country COVID-19 resources online. For students unable to arrange a COVID-19 test in their current (home) area, the University has identified Vault Health as a resource to provide at-home saliva-based COVID-19 test to complete in advance of your return to campus if you are within the United States.  Test kits may be purchased directly from Vault for $119.   

All students living in the residence halls must be tested prior to moving back in and for new students, moving in. For those students who will not need to quarantine (coming from a CDC Level 1 country or from New York State and one of its contiguous states – Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, and Massachusetts), the signup day and time will be through UHS.  Each student must sign up for their own appointment at https://uhsconnect.ur.rochester.edu/.  Appointments will be scheduled from 9 am-noon and 1-4 pm each day starting January 23.  There are approximately 500 testing slots per day.  Students cannot sign up for testing any earlier than January 23 as the residence halls and dining services do not open prior to this date.

All students must complete Dr. Chat Bot on their arrival day to campus and be sure to have completed the COVID educational module on Blackboard prior to arriving on campus.  This will be checked at the testing site.


Do students who have remained on campus for the winter stay period need to be tested?

Yes.  Residential Life will provide a list of current winter stay residents to UHS.  They will reach out to these students directly to set up an appointment for a COVID test between January 19 and January 22.


Where is the testing site and what happens there?

Testing will be in the Goergen Athletic Center Field House.  Students will enter through the Library Road entrance directly into the Field House.  Students should have completed Dr. Chat Bot and have the results of the initial COVID test prior to quarantine with them (if they participated in quarantine).  Students will receive a rapid COVID test with results available in 15 minute, and will remain in the Field House pending the results.  As students receive negative results, they will receive a wristband indicating that they have tested negative and will then be allowed to move into their residence hall.  Any student who tests positive will be sent to UHS for a follow-up PCR COVID test and will need to relocate to quarantine housing until a negative test is secured or until 10 days of quarantine are complete.  The location for this quarantine is Whipple Park.


Please let us know if there are other questions. We look forward to your return to housing and in-person instruction for spring term 2021.


Wishing you a relaxing remainder to your break.

Please stay well!


Dr. Robert E. Bones

Assistant Dean of Student Affairs