Welcome to Campus Quarantine Overview

Quarantine Steps and Information

Welcome to campus and to the start of an unusual and memorable year for all of us. None of us could have anticipated that you would start the fall term in your residence hall rooms and in quarantine. But that won’t be for long—and through your participation in this public-health mitigation measure, we hope to limit the number of positive cases and spread of COVID-19 on our campus and in our surrounding community. Thank you again for contributing to the health and well-being of all Lutes!

Prior to this, we’ve shared our expectations that you will participate in a minimum of three days of quarantine after moving into your residence hall, complete a COVID-19 test, and quarantine again until you receive your test results—the process we refer to as Quarantine-Test-Quarantine, or QTQ. With your planned arrival on campus, we would like to provide you with specific information that we hope answers  the questions that you’ve been thinking about or planning to ask. Please let us know if your question is missing, and we’ll be sure to add it to this QTQ resource!


While in quarantine, students will not be able to leave their rooms to buy food or use residence hall kitchens. Here are the alternatives for meals during quarantine:

Meal option 1 

Order food or groceries for delivery from an outside vendor, with your own funds. Students in Traditional residence halls will need to order food items that do not require kitchen prep or microwaves, as there is no access to hall kitchens while in quarantine. If you do not have your own fridge, only get non-perishable items.

  • When meeting a delivery person at the hall’s main entrance, you must wear a face covering and take extra care to clean any shared surfaces before and after contact.

Meal option 2

Order meals through PLU, to be charged to your meal plan’s Dining Dollars. More information about this option and how to order meals through PLU can be found here.

  • For those who do not have a meal plan and/or live in South Hall, you have the option of adding Dining Dollars to your account and ordering meals for delivery through PLU during quarantine. You may add Dining Dollars online and charge them to your PLU student account here, you may add them through the GET app using a credit card, with an added fee of $2.75.

Early Arrival students associated with a group or team should contact your coach/advisor for additional details about meals during quarantine.

Trash Disposal Directions

For all meal options during quarantine, follow the trash disposal directions below to ensure that garbage is removed from your room in a timely manner.

  • Use a plastic bag liner in your trash bin.
  • Prior to pickup, close the bag with a twist-tie, or tie the bag in a knot at the top to prevent any items from leaking or falling out.
  • At 2 p.m. every day, place your garbage bin, with the closed bag in it, outside your door for pickup.
  • Once garbage is collected (between 2-4 p.m.) retrieve your garbage bin and line the bin with a new, clean bag.

Mail Services will hold all mail until regular residence hall delivery begins on September 8th. However, if you have an urgent package arriving prior to September 8th (e.g., a prescription medication refill), please contact Mail Services at (253) 535-7436 and they will make arrangements to have the package delivered to your door.

Yes. During quarantine, you will be able to leave your residence hall once per day for up to 30 minutes, for fresh air and exercise. While outside, students are expected to comply with all public-health directives, including using face coverings and maintaining physical distancing. In order to manage the number of students outside on campus at any given time during quarantine, each residence hall community will have a specific window of time dedicated to this each day. You will receive information about this timeframe from your residence hall staff after move-in. Coaches will communicate with athletes about the windows of time that are scheduled for their teams and will provide specifics about activities available to them.

You are expected to wear your face covering whenever you leave your room and are in a public space. Public spaces include hallways, elevators and stairwells, and restrooms (in which masks are required at all times, except when you are showering or taking care of oral hygiene). You also should plan to wear your face covering when anytime you’re outdoors, particularly when there is a chance that physical distancing may not be maintained.

Please protect yourself and others members of your residential-learning community by wiping down sink handles and counters with disinfectant wipes after using them and using a paper towel (instead of your bare hand) to open and hold the door when exiting the restroom.

You will be asked to commit to an arrival time frame for testing by responding to an email invitation. The email invitation will include a link to the testing schedule for the day that you’re scheduled to test. Each test date on campus will have a limited window of time for you to register, and we anticipate space filling up quickly. It’s possible that demand will exceed the number of test kits available on any given testing date, so be aware that you may not get to test on the day you register for. You may also choose to secure no-cost testing at another community site on your originally scheduled PLU testing date, or shortly thereafter. A list of free COVID-19 testing opportunities in Pierce County may be found here.  If you choose to secure your own testing, you will be excused from quarantine for that period of time.

Registration for testing on the PLU campus will open at 10 a.m., three days prior to each test date; it will close the day before each test date at 12 p.m.

Test Date Registration OpensRegistration ClosesTesting Location
8/188/15 at 10 am8/17 at 12 pmHealth Center
8/258/22 at 10 am8/24 at 12 pmRed Square
9/18/29 at 10 am 8/31 at 12 pmGold Course
9/89/5 at 10 am 9/7 at 12 pmRed Square
9/99/6 at 10 am 9/8 at 12 pmGolf Course

You will need to remember to bring your LuteCard and check out with the on-site PLU staff member at the conclusion of your test. After you have completed your test, Pierce County Emergency Services (PCES) will inform you of your test results.

Positive test results

If your test result is positive, a nurse from the Tacoma–Pierce County Health Department  will call you and walk you through next steps for care, and will collect contact tracing information from you. After this call from TPCHD, you should remain in your room and call the Health Center at (253) 535-7337 on weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or, for a positive result received outside of the Health Center’s business hours, call Campus Safety at (253) 535-7411. During your call with the Health Center or Campus Safety, further instructions will be provided about how to move to an isolation room and steps for follow-up care.

Negative test results

If your test result is negative, you will receive a text from the County Everbridge system. Once you receive your negative results, your first step should be to share the results through this FORM .The Quarantine and Isolation Coordinator will use this information to initiate your check-out from quarantine. Your quarantine check-out will be done when you have submitted your results AND received a check-out email from PLU’s Quarantine and Isolation Coordinator.

You will be able to use the check-out email to confirm that your quarantine and testing period has been completed. Once you are released from quarantine, you may move more freely through the community while continuing to follow public-health directives, including wearing face coverings ANYTIME you are outside of your room, maintaining physical distancing, and participating in hand-washing and other preventative hygiene.


Yes: upon your arrival on campus, we are requiring either a new test, or confirmation of completion of an outside test no more than three days prior to your arrival. Tests completed prior to this timeframe will not be accepted, due to the fact that you may have been exposed to the virus in the time since that test.

You do not have to test again if you arrive on campus within 90 days of your positive test. Nor will we want you to quarantine. (This is based on recent recommendations from the CDC.) Please fax (253-536-5042) or email the Health Center a copy of your positive test or a letter from your Health Department or healthcare provider confirming your positive test and the date.

If you are a student athlete and have had or tested positive for COVID-19 at any time since the beginning of the pandemic, please inform the Athletics Training Room. You will need to be given an EKG to ensure that your heart wasn’t affected by the virus. Alternatively, you can bring a copy of an EKG already done at your healthcare provider’s office, or discuss where to get this test done when you arrive on campus.

You’re correct that it is a little earlier in the year than when we usually recommend flu shots, though most pharmacies begin to offer them every August. The reason we’re strongly encouraging a pre-arrival flu shot is to protect you as much as possible from the potential of becoming infected with both the annual flu and COVID-19. Getting the flu shot won’t necessarily keep you from getting the flu, but it may decrease the severity of flu symptoms if you do get it—and if you end up with both COVID-19 and a full case of the flu, you’re more likely to become severely ill and require hospitalization.

One thing we want to make sure you add to your list of supplies is a reliable thermometer. In the event you become ill with COVID-19 symptoms, or are isolated after being identified as a close contact of someone with the virus, we’ll be asking you to check your temperature daily until you feel better or are able to come out of isolation. This will be your personal thermometer, not to be shared with others. There are other items we strongly recommend you bring with you in order to keep yourself healthy, whether you live on or off campus; you can find a list on the Residential Life COVID-19 page.

Health resources

You’ll be able to access health resources through phone visits and email with the Health Center—(253) 535-7337 or health@plu.edu—on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 24/7 via Lute TeleHealth. Starting early in the fall semester, virtual visits will be available through Zoom for Healthcare, and we will also be offering limited in-person visits to the Health Center. Please call for an appointment, or schedule online.

Mental health resources

This is an exciting and challenging time for many people, and you may experience a variety of emotions during the quarantine period. The PLU Counseling Center has a variety of ways to support you now and as you continue through the 2020–21 year.   

  • On-demand and scheduled counseling sessions are available 24/7 to all PLU students via Lute Telehealth.
  • These services are  video-based, telehealth services and part of PLU’s ongoing commitment to supporting students through this transitional period. Students who find that they would like to continue services through Lute Telehealth can continue to do so through the academic year for up to 14 sessions. 
  • Beginning September 8 (the first day of school), students who are residing in Washington may schedule a first time or returning client appointment with PLU Counseling Center Staff by calling  (253) 535-7206 or emailing the Counseling Center (counseling@plu.edu) . Please leave a phone number to reach you and expect that all messages will be returned within one business day.  During the beginning of the fall term, all PLU Counseling Center sessions will be conducted remotely via telehealth (Zoom for Healthcare). 
  • If you are in crisis or in need of urgent mental-health support, please call our PLU Crisis Line at (253) 535-7075. Providers will assist you in identifying some next steps to help you move through the distress you are experiencing, and will provide you with tools to support your health and safety. 

Finally, we’ve compiled wellness resources here for students undergoing quarantine, managing remote schooling, and dealing with life changes that COVID-19 has necessitated.