Isolation and Quarantine Planning Guide for Students

The University of Maine at Machias will use the key public health tools known as isolation and quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the campus community. Because there is typically little time to prepare for isolation or quarantine when instructed to do so, the UMM has developed this planning guide to assist students in preparing to isolate or quarantine. This guide is for students who live on campus, as well as students who live off campus.

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Isolation is the separation of someone who is ill with (or has tested positive for) COVID-19, from the people who are not sick. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 typically isolate for at least 10 days from the time they are tested or symptoms first appeared, plus 3 days with no fever and respiratory symptoms  have improved, but could be isolated for longer periods if their symptoms persist.

Quarantine is the separation of someone who has been exposed to a COVID-positive individual from those who are not sick or exposed in case the exposed person becomes sick or tests positive for COVID-19. A typical quarantine period lasts 14 days.

Do I need a plan for isolation and quarantine?

All students living on campus are required to have an isolation and quarantine plan. For those  students living on campus, the university has set aside dedicated isolation and quarantine spaces. Daily meals orders (ordered through the Sodexo app, or via an RA), personal medications and, when necessary, the students’ assembled “go kit,” will be delivered to students isolating and quarantining on campus. UMM recommends that residential students not travel home if they must quarantine or isolate as required by the CDC. UMM’s Student Health Coordinator, Jordan Porter, is available to support or discuss the specific public health guidance related to travel limitations while under  quarantine or isolation. This includes options available  to students and families within close driving distance  to campus. Resident assistants will check in on isolated students twice daily to monitor symptoms, and will reach out to the Student Health Coordinator if further assistance is needed.

All students living off campus are strongly encouraged to have an isolation and quarantine plan. The university will not provide on-campus isolation and quarantine space or meals for off-campus students.

How will I be supported if I am in isolation or quarantine on campus?

  • You will be provided with a resource card that outlines expectations, websites, phone numbers and other resources.
  • A resident assistant will check in with you twice daily via your preferred socially distant medium (text, email or land line). If professional assistance is needed, RAs will notify the Dean of Students and Jordan Porter, UMM Student Health Coordinator, or if necessary, will contact emergency services. Contact numbers and a list of symptoms requiring medical attention will be posted in each quarantine and isolation room. A phone number answered by an on-call staff member will be posted; this number is staffed 24/7 in case you need assistance.
  • Dean of Students Marnie Kaler will coordinate with your faculty advisor to ensure all your coursework is in remote modality.
  • Student Accessibility Services will assist with a requested academic need or accommodation.
  • Your parents/guardian will be contacted when you enter isolation/quarantine.

How do I prepare for isolation or quarantine? 

Communicate with your family 

Discuss the following with your family before coming to campus:

  • If you live in close proximity to campus (within 35 miles of Machias), are you able to return home in a private vehicle? If you are instructed to isolate or quarantine, you cannot travel on any public transportation — bus, plane, etc. — or travel with a non-family member.
  • If someone from your family (living in close proximity to campus) plans to pick you up to take you home to isolate or quarantine, how much time will they need to arrive? Are they able to wear the proper protective equipment — face covering, gloves, etc.— to travel with a person who is COVID-19 positive or presumptive?
  • Are you able to distance yourself from others in your home to keep family members safe?
  • Do you have at-risk family members to consider?
  • If you cannot isolate or quarantine at home, how will your family communicate with you?

Assemble a “go kit” 

If you are asked to isolate or quarantine on campus by the Dean of Students, you will not be able to go back to your on-campus housing to gather supplies. Additionally, you will not be able to leave your isolation or quarantine space during your time there. To prepare for this, assemble a “go kit” before you arrive on  campus. This should be something someone can  easily pick up and drop off to you.

Recommended supplies for your “go kit”

  • Self-care medications: Pack fever/pain reducers, such as Tylenol or Motrin (Advil). Do not use multi-symptom medications in combinations as it can be easy to take too much. You may want to consider packing lozenges for sore throats or cough medications.
  • Prescription medications: Pack several days’ worth of any prescription medication you may need.
  • Thermometer: Pack a digital thermometer that works under your tongue, is easy to use and is not expensive to purchase.
  • Comfortable clothes: Pack a few days’ worth of comfortable clothes to wear during the day andat night.
  • Hygiene supplies: Pack shampoos, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine products, etc.
  • Phone charger
  • Face coverings: Pack multiple face coverings so that you can wear a fresh one each day.
  • Food: On-campus students should pack their favorite comfort snacks and drinks; UMM will deliver meals to isolation and quarantine rooms. Off-campus students should maintain a food supply in their residences and be knowledgeable about how to order food delivery from your local grocery store.

The university is providing campus isolation and quarantine room supplies on campus,  including bedding, bath towels, cleaning supplies and multiple disposable face coverings.

In addition to your “go kit” you should  ensure your academic materials (laptop, notebooks, books, etc.) are readily accessible to be able to be brought to you.

If you forget anything, contact Dean of Students Marnie Kaler (marnie.kaler@maine.edu) and we will try to make sure you have what you need.

For more information call the COVID-19 information line, 207.581.2681, or write umaine.alerts@maine.edu