Preparing for Isolation and Quarantine

By Alex Devers and Samm Swarts, January 15, 2021
A message from Alex Devers and Samm Swarts, wrap around care managers.

IC Public Health Column video. 

A reality of dealing with COVID-19 is the possibility that you’ll need to go into isolation or quarantine. For faculty, staff and students, this is not an ideal situation. For students, this probably isn’t the first thing you had in mind as you start your spring semester, but you do need to prepare, just in case. 

Both of us are wrap around care managers at Ithaca College, and there are four total (Alex Devers, Samm Swarts, Christopher Griffin, and Beth Greene). We are here to help when residential students enter either isolation or quarantine on campus. One of our biggest challenges is getting people to understand the difference between isolation and quarantine. Isolation is for individuals who test positive for COVID-19, while quarantine is for those who were a close contact of someone who tested positive, which is determined by contact tracing. We are also using Emerson Hall for students needing to satisfy the New York State travel advisory quarantine during move-in. No matter the circumstance, if you’re a student living on campus, you’ll be required to pack up and move to Emerson Hall for the duration of your isolation or quarantine. 

"With hard work and cooperation, we are here to support students and help them navigate through the difficult process of quarantine and isolation." 

Alex Devers and Samm Swarts, wrap around care managers

Once in Emerson Hall, the wrap around care managers will be available 24/7. If and when students might need something, we're available for them as a resource. Upon moving into Emerson Hall, students will be provided with a private room, towels and linens, and a meal delivery service. We also have an exercise plan that we’ve set up so students can get outside and get some fresh air if conditions permit. Either a wrap around care manager, or a team of student health emergency liaisons, will do check-ins with those students in quarantine and isolation to make sure all their needs are being met. We want students to know that there’s always somebody they can talk too and a robust support system available to them if they need to quarantine or isolate. 

Next, students, if you’re living on campus, be prepared for quarantine or isolation. Have a bag packed with clothes and other necessities. Think about what you will need to feel comfortable while quarantining or isolating, and make sure you have your laptop and chargers ready to go. If you think about these things ahead of time, you’ll find your time in quarantine and isolation much more comfortable.  

Students living off campus, faculty, and staff should be prepared as well. Make sure you have some shelf stable food, cleaning supplies and any medications or medicines you may need. If you think about these things ahead of time, you can be more prepared for quarantine and isolation. 

This is the first time any of us are doing this. We haven’t had to run quarantine and isolation housing in the middle of a pandemic at Ithaca College before. We are lucky that we have a lot of support on campus, and there’s such pride in our student body, faculty, and staff.   

With hard work and cooperation, we are here to support students and help them navigate through the difficult process of quarantine and isolation. We are learning from every student who comes in and every check-in that we do how to improve the process for the next student. We like to hear from our students about their isolation and quarantine experience, so if there’s something we can improve, we want to hear it, so the process is more seamless for the next student. 


Alex Devers, wrap around care manager 

Samm Swarts, wrap around care manager