NU clarifies Quarantine & Isolation Housing roommate assignments policy


Daily file photo by Angeli Mittal

Only students in isolation, not quarantine, may be assigned a roommate. Students in this position must adhere to social distancing and masking guidelines.

Angeli Mittal, Photo Editor

Only students in isolation — defined as those who have tested positive for COVID-19 — will potentially be assigned a roommate, the University clarified in an email to The Daily. 

Regardless of vaccination status, individuals who test positive are said to be in isolation. If asymptomatic on the fifth day of isolation — with the first day being the day after a positive test result — students have the option to be released from isolation early, pending a negative, on-site rapid antigen test.

Students who are unvaccinated or have not received a COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot in the last six months are subject to quarantine if identified as a close contact, defined as being exposed to someone who tested positive. Individuals who are fully vaccinated and have obtained a booster shot, if eligible, do not need to quarantine but are required to test in-person five days after exposure.

In a Thursday email to students living in Quarantine and Isolation Housing in 1835 Hinman, the University told students in doubles they may be assigned a roommate. Those assigned a roommate are asked to wear a mask in their rooms except while sleeping or actively eating or drinking.

While this policy has not yet taken effect, if close to capacity, the University will not make a distinction between symptomatic and asymptomatic students when assigning roommates.

The University will make considerations when assigning roommates at Hinman for transgender and non-binary students seeking gender-affirming housing as well as for students receiving AccessibleNU accommodations, University spokesperson Jon Yates said in an email to The Daily.

NU indicated Hinman has not yet reached capacity, so students living on campus must quarantine or isolate in Hinman rather than in their residence halls. 

Starting Monday, all NU students, faculty and staff will be required to show their vaccination status on the Symptom Tracker app upon entering Northwestern Recreation facilities. This includes the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion, Ryan Fieldhouse and Welsh-Ryan Arena. 

Individuals with an approved exemption from Northwestern’s vaccination requirement must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken in a certified testing center 24 hours prior to entering the facilities.

NU will hold a Tuesday webinar at 12 p.m. to discuss and answer questions about the transition out of Wildcat Wellness into in-person classes and activities scheduled for Jan. 18.

The University also intends to explore additional opportunities for safe, in-person activities during the second week of Wildcat Wellness as more data is collected on campus COVID-19 positivity.

Last week, NU reported a record number of positive tests at 909 with a 5.54% positivity rate from more than 16,000 tests received. However, about half of the positive tests reported were conducted at-home or at off-site facilities.

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Twitter: @amittal27

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