Fall 2020 Opening

Quarantine and Isolation

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

A quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who may have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. Isolation separates people who are sick and contagious from people who are not sick.

Do students have to quarantine for 14 days before classes start?

Most students do not. Hobart and William Smith are working with New York State to determine if students arriving from locations identified by the state as requiring a 14-day quarantine can quarantine at home before arriving on campus or if they must quarantine on campus. In either case, we will accommodate all students on campus so that they can complete their quarantine before the start of classes on August 24.

If a student tests negative for COVID-19 after traveling to campus from a location identified by New York State as requiring a quarantine, do they still have to quarantine?

We are working right now with New York State to determine the answer to this question.

If a student is coming from a COVID-19 hot zone as identified by New York State but can live with family in a non-hot zone 14 days prior to arrival on campus, will they still be asked to quarantine?


Can students quarantine in their residence halls? If so, do they have to stay in their room the entire time? Who will deliver meals and other essentials to them?

Students can go outside for a limited period for purposes of fresh air and movement, but must avoid going near other persons during that time, maintain strict social distancing, and wear a mask whenever outside or in contact with other people. Meals will be delivered to their residence halls.

Where are the isolation facilities located?

We will use both on- and off-campus isolation facilities depending on the level of need, for example in a dedicated building on campus or a local hotel.

If a student has to go into isolation, how will the Colleges care for them?

The Colleges have developed plans with Ontario County Public Health Department and Finger Lakes Health for isolation of students testing positive for COVID-19 (both students living on and off campus in Geneva), including multiple daily symptom and well-being checks, delivery of meals and supplies, laundry pickup and delivery, and notification of family and/or emergency contacts.

How many students can our on-campus quarantine spaces hold? It seems the plan is to house students in double rooms during quarantines. Doesn’t this plan put students at greater risk for exposure (say, if one student wasn’t actually exposed but their quarantine partner was)? This would seem to put the institution at risk for liability, since this does not meet the recommended standard for quarantine (which is: a private bedroom and bathroom) will students be quarantined on campus?

It depends on the particular housing situation. In most cases, students will quarantine in their rooms but in some cases, we may remove students to a different facility for quarantine.

Return to Opening Plan Main Page

Messages to the Community

Fall 2020 Opening Plan and Website by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - July 17, 2020

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Questions and comments should be directed to:

Office of Campus Life
Smith Hall, First Floor
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3900

Questions regarding health issues should be directed to:

Hubbs Health Center
119 St. Clair Street
Geneva, NY 14456
Phone: 315-781-3600
Appt. Phone: 315-781-4530
Fax: 315-781-3802