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Undergraduate Student Quarantine, Isolation and Patient Care

Posted by on Monday, June 8, 2020 in .

COVID-19 conditions have required us to identify quarantine and isolation locations for our undergraduate residential community and to de-densify residential spaces to provide housing that is as safe as possible.

The CDC defines isolation as separating sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick, and quarantine as separating and restricting the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Blakemore House, Chaffin Place, OHARE at the Village at Vanderbilt Townhouses and South Tower, and Scarritt Bennett Center (an off-campus property operated by the university and located in close proximity to campus) will be used for campus resident isolation and quarantine.

University Public Health Central Command Center officials, in consultation with the Student Health Center, will make medical determinations and assign campus residents to either diagnostic quarantine or COVID-19-positive isolation at sites specifically designated for these purposes.

Students will be moved into quarantine housing in two scenarios.

  • If a student is tested for COVID-19, they will be moved to quarantine housing until they get results of the test. If the test is negative, they return to their room. If it is positive, they move to isolation housing. They will stay in isolation a minimum of 10 days.
  • If a student is identified through contact tracing. They will stay in quarantine for 14 days.

In the event it is necessary for an on-campus student to move to quarantine or isolation housing based on testing results or contact tracing, an organized process will be followed.

  • Students will be contacted by an Area Coordinator (AC) with instructions of what to pack for quarantine and isolation housing. You may not be contacted immediately, but you should remain in your room until they are in touch, leaving only to use shared bathroom facilities, pick up food, or seek medical attention if needed – as always, wear a mask if you have to leave your room. In the meantime, don’t invite anyone to your room and begin packing your essential belongings. TIP: Students should create a checklist of all necessary items they may need in the event such a move is require. This list should include items such as medication, computer and devices, phone, chargers, textbooks and items necessary for schoolwork, adequate clothing, personal hygiene products, their own pillow, etc.
  • The AC will coordinate the transportation. Students will be transported to and from quarantine and isolation housing by Community Service Officers from VUPD.
  • All quarantine and isolation housing will have a refrigerator and microwave. Dining will deliver food to each of the quarantine and isolation locations. Rooms will have sheets, blankets, towels and washcloths. Students should bring their own pillow. All quarantine and isolation spaces have internet connections so students can continue to attend class virtually while there.
  • Graduate student building managers will assist all students in quarantine and isolation housing serving on a duty rotation. They will also maintain contact with residents including delivering student mail. In addition, personnel from Student Health or the School of Nursing will be in contact with in quarantine and isolation spaces.
  • University Public Health Central Command Center officials, in consultation with the Student Health Center, will make medical evaluations and release campus residents from quarantine or isolation to return to their campus residence hall room when deemed medically appropriate.

While there are designated spaces for both quarantine and isolation, the spaces are interchangeable based on number of students needing each.


Vanderbilt has developed its COVID-19 policies and protocols to protect the health and safety of the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities. The university will not grant individualized exceptions to them; public health requires consistent collective action.  

The university’s decision to place a student into quarantine or isolation is based on positive Vault (or other university-administered or -approved) test results and university contact tracing and cannot be overridden with negative test results. The university does not permit anyone to override the mandatory testing program with other test results. We do not accept rapid response test results because those results have significantly higher  false negative rates. 

No one can test out of isolation or quarantine with a negative test result. It is not allowed by Metro Health regulations or TN Department of Health and CDC guidance. This is because at any point up until the 14th day after the last exposure someone has to a positive individual, they might still develop COVID-19 and become infectious. 

Though the university quickly identifies and quarantines individuals exposed to people who have tested positive, because of the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, testing is conducted for those in quarantine. Testing asymptomatic close contacts will be tested based on information from this Johns Hopkins study

Those in quarantine should not leave their quarantine residence for any reason other than for testing at Student Health until the end of their quarantine period 

If a student leaves their quarantine location during their assigned period for any reason other than testing at the Student Health Center or receiving medical assistance (for example, at Vanderbilt’s Student Health Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center or another medical provider), they are in violation of the university’s quarantine order and will be referred to the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity. As a reminder, it is possible for individuals to be entirely asymptomatic and yet be infected with the virus and able to infect others.  


For students living off campus, we cannot offer isolation space on campus. Public health guidance suggests that we treat students residing together off campus like a family unit; students should isolate in their off-campus residence and handle isolation as a family would. Furthermore, University Public Health Central Command Center officials, in consultation with the Student Health Center, will make medical determinations and direct students to quarantine or isolate at their off-campus residences. When deemed appropriate after medical evaluation, University Public Health Central Command Center officials, in consultation with the Student Health Center, will release students from quarantine or isolation in their off-campus residences.

Temporary Housing Support for Off-Campus Vanderbilt Community Members

For the convenience of the VU community, the university has negotiated special rates with the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt—a Vanderbilt-preferred hotel—for use by members of the VU community who live off campus and due to their personal circumstances want an alternative short-term residence. A valid Vanderbilt ID must be presented at check-in to verify Vanderbilt affiliation, and the faculty member, staff member, postdoc or student will be responsible for all associated costs. If cost is an issue due to personal circumstances, we encourage undergraduate, graduate and professional students to fill out an application for the Student Hardship Fund.

Hotel PropertyRateCheck In DateDiscount Code
Holiday Inn Vanderbilt *A Vanderbilt-preferred hotel
2613 West End Ave, Nashville
Short term booking
(less than 5 days)
• Long term booking
(more than 5 days)
$50 for longer than 5 days
$75 for shorter than 5 days
08/01/2020 - 09/09/2020INT