To all UVM Students and Families,

As we look forward to your return to campus, I want to provide all of you with quarantine and isolation rules, and to pass along some practical advice that might be helpful to you as we navigate these unusual times.

Our main objective is to keep our entire community safe—this means students, faculty, staff, and our greater Burlington community. Just as we need to protect ourselves, it is critically important that we follow the public health guidelines necessary to protect others. The public health guidelines reflected in the Green and Gold Promise and in the instructions below are so critical that we will be strictly enforcing them through our student conduct process. If you have questions about any of these guidelines, please contact UVM Student Health Services. We are thrilled to have all of you back at UVM, and know that with a bit of patience and practice, we will thrive together!

How are Quarantine and Isolation Different?

Quarantine separates and restricts the movements of people who may have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 to prevent them from infecting other people during the incubation period.

Isolation separates people who have tested positive for COVID-19 from those who do not have the virus.

Who needs to Quarantine?

Two circumstances trigger the quarantine requirements:

(1) People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
People who have had close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 must quarantine during the COVID-19 incubation period to ensure that the exposed person does not infect other individuals. The only exception to this rule is for individuals who have had COVID-19 within the past 3 months and have not had a recurrence of symptoms.

(2) Travel outside the state of Vermont.
Anyone who arrives from out of state, or who travels outside the state of Vermont must follow the state’s quarantine rules upon their return. 

What counts as close contact with an infected person?

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more.
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • You had direct physical contact with a person with COVID-19 (hugged or kissed them).
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils.
  • You came in contact with respiratory droplets from an infected individual (such as through sneezing or coughing).

What are the quarantine requirements?

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • If you have no symptoms for 7 days, you may get tested at that point. If your test after these 7 days comes back negative, you may end your quarantine.
  • Staying home means not leaving the house or congregating with others. This means no use of public transportation, trips to the grocery store, or visits with friends.
  • Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.

Who needs to isolate?

  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • People who test positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2, regardless of whether they have any symptoms.

What are the isolation requirements?

  • Do not leave your designated space for any reason, except to seek additional medical treatment.
  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • Wear a mask whenever you open your door or go to the bathroom.
  • On-campus students who require isolation will be moved to designated isolation rooms on campus and provided with necessary services.
  • Off-campus students who require isolation should:
    • Stay in a separate room from other household members, with the door closed.
    • Avoid all physical contact with other members of the household and pets.
    • Use a separate bathroom if possible.
    • If you are unable to use a separate bathroom, wear a mask, and disinfect all surfaces you touch.
    • Do not use the kitchen or any other common room or area in the house or apartment.
    • If you need groceries or medication, use a service like Instacart for delivery. Have a roommate put your delivery right outside your door.
    • If you are unable to manage the requirements of isolation, please contact UVM Student Health Services to be directed to alternative isolation housing.

For more information, the Vermont Department of Health has created a useful graphic providing guidance on quarantine and isolation.

If you have questions about quarantine or isolation, please contact


Patricia Prelock, Provost and Sr. VP