UMass Lowell Health Services and Environmental and Emergency Management continue to monitor the status of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recognizing that information changes rapidly, please visit the Mass. Department of Public Health Coronavirus page and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for the most up-to-date information.  

Email your questions to health_services@uml.edu. The Health Services staff are ready, willing and able to discuss the most recent information and guidance.

Quarantine & Isolation Plan

Quarantine

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick and to limit the risk of transmission of disease to others. UMass Lowell will continue to follow the latest guidance in establishing our protocols based on Centers for Disease Control recommendations.

Post-Exposure Guidelines for Close Contacts Who Do Not Have Symptoms 

Per CDC, a close contact is someone who was less than six feet away from an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. For example, three individual five-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes.

The latest quarantine guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is dependent on your vaccination status. Visit the CDC to determine if you need to quarantine

You can come on campus after an exposure if you feel well (are asymptomatic) and meet one of these conditions:

  • completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months;
  • completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months;
  • have been boosted with approved COVID-19 vaccine; or
  • been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 90 days.

If you start to develop symptoms, stay home and take a COVID test. If you take a PCR test, please stay home until you get your results. Per UML policy, please mask while on campus.

You must stay off campus for at least five days under the following circumstances:

  • It has been over six months since you completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and you are not boosted; 
  • It has been over two months since you had the single dose J&J and are not boosted; or
  • You have not been vaccinated or have not completed the primary vaccination series.

In that case you must stay home for 5 days following your last exposure to the infected person and monitor for symptoms.

If you are unable to limit contact with an infected person, you must stay off campus for 10 days.

If you remain without symptoms, test on day five if possible. If you develop symptoms get a test and continue to stay home.

Regardless of your vaccine status CDC guidance is that those exposed mask when around others for 10 days.

Per UML policy always wear a mask when on campus.

Isolation

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Students will be required to isolate if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are waiting for test results, have cough, fever, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19. Follow guidance from the Centers of Disease Control regarding length of isolation.

Residential Isolation Plan

With the rapid spread of the COVID-19 omicron variant in Massachusetts and New England, UMass Lowell has updated its isolation protocols for residential students who tests positive.
COVID-19 test before returning to campus: If at all possible, please get a COVID-19 test (and wait for your results) prior to returning to the residence halls for the spring 2022 semester. Ideally, please get tested (rapid antigen tests or PCR tests if available) the day before or morning of your departure to campus and wait for the results before departing so that you can stay home and isolate there if your test is positive.
Isolate off campus if you test positive:  Once on campus, all students living in our residence halls who test positive for COVID-19 will be expected to isolate off campus. That could mean going home or to another location.  This is in an effort to keep our entire campus community safe. Please make a plan to isolate off campus if you test positive for COVID-19.  
Potential need to isolate on campus: We recognize that off-campus isolation will not be possible for some of our residential students. We have a very limited number of isolation rooms at our Inn & Conference Center (ICC) for residential students unable to isolate off campus or elsewhere. Please be aware that with this limited capacity, students may be required to share a room with other students who test positive for COVID-19.
Potential need to isolate in place: Should positive cases quickly escalate and exhaust our supply of isolation rooms at the ICC, our vaccination and booster requirements will allow students to isolate in their residence hall rooms (if they are unable to isolate off campus) while following CDC guidance.
Based on current conditions, we expect many students who test positive will be asymptomatic or exhibit only mild systems. The vaccines allow us to approach the upcoming surge more like a cold or flu season. We ask students to prepare for this possibility by bringing supplies (including over the counter medications) with them to enable self-isolation if necessary.
For more details about our isolation plan, please see below.
  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19 and needs to isolate on campus, we plan to do the following:
  • A student who is truly unable to return home could be moved to one of our isolation spaces at our Inn & Conference Center (ICC).  Please note, we have limited (30 double occupancy rooms) for isolation use.
  • Students isolating at the ICC may be assigned a roommate who has also tested positive for COVID-19 so we maximize the space we have.
  • With the current COVID-19 surge, we know we may need to isolate more than 60 students while the Omicron surge continues.  If that happens, students will need to isolate in place – in their current residence hall.  This could have an impact on roommates, suite mates and apartment-mates.  Again, if you test positive, the expectation is that you isolate off campus if at all possible.
  • If a student isolates in place on campus, they will need to wear a mask or face covering when around any roommates, suite mates, or apartment mates. Students may need to create plans within their living space in case sleeping arrangements need to be altered during this time – to allow for separation of students while sleeping without a mask or face covering. 
  • Per standard procedures, students living in suites and apartments will be responsible for cleaning their own bathrooms, common spaces and the like. Please plan accordingly and bring cleaning supplies per standard routines.
  • Students living in a traditional residence hall using community bathrooms should:
    • Always wear a mask or face covering while traveling from their room to the bathroom.  
    • Only remove mask or face covering while using showers, etc and continue to stay six or more feet apart from other students.
    • Bathroom cleaning schedules will be posted.
  • Students in isolation at the ICC will receive meals at the ICC. 
  • Students isolating in place will leave their room (with mask or face covering) to pick up their food from a central location. 
  • Students isolating in place should only leave their room to:
    • Use a community bathroom
    • Pick up food
Additional isolation information will be provided to the student from our Health Services and Residence Life teams.  

Be Prepared & Have a Go Bag

The contents of Abby Lipski's go bag Image by Abigail Lipski

As we continue to live through the COVID-19 pandemic, we want you to know that at UML keeping our community healthy and safe is embedded in everything we do.

With that in mind we’ve developed protocols based on guidance from health officials and have plans in place for students who have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 to follow in order to isolate.

Making a Go Bag

To keep you and everyone in our community healthy and safe, as well as for your comfort, we want you to be ready should you test positive for COVID-19 while living on campus.

In an unpredictable time as we continue to live with a pandemic, taking charge of what you are able to control can be a very empowering. Creating a “Go Bag” is something completely in your control and is an important part of being prepared if you are instructed to isolate.

Right now, take about 15 minutes to get a “Go Bag” ready in the event that you need to leave your current room to isolate as time will be of the essence to minimize exposure to others should you need to move to another space. 

The suggested list (below) includes items that you may use on a regular basis - a good strategy might be for you to put all of the items nearby each other so you can gather them quickly.

As you put your Go Bag items together, please keep in mind that should you need to be in isolation, you will be off campus or in a different space for a period of five to 10 days, so having all of the important stuff in your life ready to go will make life easier for you during that time period.  

Here are some suggested items as you consider what to include in your Go Bag.

  • ALWAYS have your UML ID with you – ALWAYS
  • Personal hygiene items, including bath towels
  • Face coverings
  • Containers of the medications you take, including nonprescription (over the counter drugs) as well as prescription medication. Be sure to have enough for 14 days just in case you need to isolate longer due to feeling poorly.
  • A thermometer (part of the supplies we advised students to bring when moving back on campus)
  • Phone and charger
  • Laptop and charger
  • All your important documents, including insurance cards and, if an international student, your passport
  • Notepad, pen/pencil
  • Several changes of clothes/underclothes/pajamas
  • Towels
  • If you keep snacks in your room, put a supply of them in your Go Bag

Doing this now is important as you may have very little time to prepare if you need to be placed into isolation. Having all of this together will allow you to grab and go and have the items you’ll need while away from your residence hall and leave you able to continue with school and personal responsibilities.