Are masks required on campus?

Masks remain optional in most indoor spaces on campus, including for visitors. Individuals may continue to require that masks be worn in spaces they ordinarily control, such as offices, classrooms and labs, office suites, and residential rooms.

Masking indoors is still expected for those with a known exposure, those in isolation when around other people, and those who have symptoms or continue to test positive.

Masks remain available without charge for individuals to pick up from the Dean of Students Office, Student Health and Counseling, and Human Resources.


Where can I get tested for COVID-19

COVID-19 testing is available on campus via two avenues:

  1. Self-administered tests
  2. In-person testing at Student Health and Counseling

Self-administered tests will be available free of charge on campus while supplies allow. Tests can be obtained from the Dean of Students Office, SHAC, Security, and Human Resources. Tests are also available in vending machines located in dorms on campus. Of note, vending machines are filled once weekly. If a particular vending machine is empty, please utilize one of the other campus resources. Security has tests available 24/7.

  • The following vending machines are stocked weekly on Monday with COVID-19 tests:
    • Burton
    • Olin
    • Sayles
    • Weitz
    • Evans
    • Musser
    • Myers 
    • Nourse
    • Watson
    • Cassat
    • Goodhue

In-person testing is available at SHAC in Davis Hall for symptomatic students. SHAC has a limited number of appointments available on a daily basis, therefore it is important that appointments are utilized judiciously. COVID-19 tests completed at SHAC will remain free of charge. SHAC does not provide notes to students regarding COVID-19 testing as with other illnesses.

Students have access to local Northfield resources and may be referred off-campus if SHAC is unable to accommodate the testing desired or needed. Transportation to and from these resources is generally available via Carls-Go.

Will I be notified if I was in contact with someone who tested positive?

Carleton does not provide case investigation or contact tracing services. If you will be absent due to illness, it is your responsibility to notify all appropriate parties which may include professors, supervisors, coaches, colleagues, and/or human resources. Absences will need to be discussed with individual professors, there is no campus wide policy. Employees only need to contact HR if they have concerns or questions regarding personal absences.

What do I do if I am feeling ill or test positive for a respiratory virus?

The CDC has recently released new guidance regarding management of respiratory illnesses which includes COVID-19, influenza, and RSV.

When you have symptoms of a respiratory virus:

Stay home and away from others (including people you live with who are not sick) if you have respiratory virus symptoms that aren’t better explained by another cause. These symptoms can include fever, chills, fatigue, cough, runny nose, and headache, among others.

You can go back to your normal activities when, for at least 24 hours, both are true:

  • Your symptoms are getting better overall, and
  • You have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication).

When you go back to your normal activities, take added precaution over the next 5 days, such as taking additional steps for cleaner airhygiene, masksphysical distancing, and/or testing when you will be around other people indoors.

  • Keep in mind that you may still be able to spread the virus that made you sick, even if you are feeling better. You are likely to be less contagious at this time, depending on factors like how long you were sick or how sick you were.
  • If you develop a fever or you start to feel worse after you have gone back to normal activities, stay home and away from others again until, for at least 24 hours, both are true: your symptoms are improving overall, and you have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication). Then take added precaution for the next 5 days.

If you never had symptoms but tested positive for a respiratory virus‎:

You may be contagious. For the next 5 days: take added precaution, such as taking additional steps for cleaner airhygienemasksphysical distancing, and/or testing when you will be around other people indoors. This is especially important to protect people with factors that increase their risk of severe illness from respiratory viruses.

Medical Care:

Medical providers at SHAC are able to help offer advice and guidance on symptom management.

If you are at high risk for severe disease, reach out to your medical provider/SHAC to develop a treatment plan. 

Be sure to get medical care immediately if you have trouble breathing, if you have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think you are experiencing an emergency.

Quarantine and Isolation

How do I Isolate on Campus if I am Ill?

For ill individuals, isolation will generally occur in-place (e.g., residence hall, community housing, private home). This is true even if you have a roommate. As noted above, the CDC has changed their recommendations to include staying home and away from others until you are fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medications.

There is no specific protocol for ending isolation. You do not need to test to exit. Please use increased precautions such as mask wearing, physical distance, and testing when you have returned to campus life to limit exposure to others.

If you are ill, we continue to recommend the use of high quality masks which can be obtained for free from the Dean of Students Offices, SHAC, and Human Resources. Students should work directly with professors, staff, supervisors, and coaches to communicate illness and absences.

Roommates of ill individuals may continue to engage in normal campus activities unless they become symptomatic or test positive themselves.

Is isolation housing available?

Individuals who test positive should isolate in place if possible. This will likely mean isolating in a residence hall room, off-campus housing, or private homes.

Refer to this helpful guide regarding isolating-in-place that offers advice for both ill and well roommates.

Limited isolation space remains available. Please reach out to directly to inquire about availability.

If isolated, how will I receive meals?

While in isolation, we request that you do not visit the dining halls to limit the exposure of others to illness. Instead, we recommend that you utilize one of the following options:

  1. Dining services provides a sick tray option for students who are ill and unable to physically come to the dining halls. This includes students isolating in place and those in Carleton-sponsored isolation housing. Students should send a brief note and their One Card with a roommate or trusted friend to the dining hall and that person will be given a to-go container to take food back to the ill student. Meals are not pre-selected, but chosen by the dedicated pick-up person.
  2. If delivery is not available, please utilize one of the cafes on campus which offer grab and go options such as the Sayles Cafe, Weitz Café, or Schulze Café. You are also free to order food for delivery from any of the town’s restaurants or grocery stores.