+1 856-240-8117


Home → Blog

Easing Your Students’ Stress Over COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine

College students have enough to stress over without also worrying about how many classes, exams, or other activities they’re missing due to COVID-19 isolation or quarantine. 

One member of the PubSEG team saw firsthand the angst it can cause when his daughter tested positive for COVID, and she immediately began worrying about making up classes and rescheduling an important exam.  

PubSEG’s contact tracers deal with similarly concerned students every day, especially at the college level. Even just a couple of days of missed classes can leave students feeling hopelessly behind. 

In PubSEG’s home state of New Jersey, 70% percent of college students say their pandemic-related level of stress and anxiety was greater in fall 2021 than in fall 2020, according to a survey of 15,500 undergraduate and graduate students conducted by the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education.  

And it’s not just missed class time that they’re worried about. More than two years since the start of the pandemic, the virus is still causing anxiety and uncertainty surrounding a variety of issues. 

Here’s a sampling of questions our tracers have heard from concerned students across the country: 

  • If I miss a class in the morning and am cleared to return later in the day, is it still an excused absence?  
  • If I’ve completed isolation and am asymptomatic but continue to test positive, do I still have to isolate? 
  • If my symptoms are not COVID-related but align with COVID symptoms, why do I have to quarantine?
  • If I miss a class because I’m sick and the teacher provides a Zoom link, am I still required to attend class remotely? 
  • If I have to provide a weekly test to be on campus and results are delayed, can I still come to campus? 
  • Are my professors receiving information about my status?  
  • I just found out one my classmates tested positive. What should I do?  
  • If I get sick from the vaccination, do I have to quarantine?  

We never know exactly what questions we’ll hear when we contact positive cases or close contacts, but our tracers are trained to be as empathetic and patient as possible, and we do our best to answer any questions we receive.  

Obviously, guidelines differ among the schools we partner with, based on individual policies and local health department regulations, so the answers aren’t always the same. Fortunately, most schools provide a list of FAQ’s, which can be a handy resource for our tracers. 

Several PubSEG contact tracing supervisors have also developed their own reference pages, where tracers can quickly and conveniently find general answers to frequently asked questions and concerns.  

And if we still don’t know an answer, we let them know who to contact on campus—often Student Services for students or Human Resources for faculty. 

As a standard response, we tell students to forward the email they receive from us (stating whether they are cleared to return to class) to their professors, who in turn can advise them on rescheduling, Zoom links, or any other relevant concerns. We also remind faculty members to contact their supervisors. 

Regardless of the individual situation, open communication is key to making isolation or quarantine as painless as possible.  

Finding out you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus can be stressful, even if you don’t have serious symptoms. Missing classes, exams, extracurriculars, work, or social events only adds to that stress. 

PubSEG supervisors and tracers are mindful of those concerns, but there’s a reason we tell people to isolate or quarantine. At one of our partner schools, a student broke isolation requirements to attend a party. Less than a week later, 60 kids tested positive for COVID, with the cases traced back to the party. 

If it’s not safe for you to attend class, it’s definitely not safe for you to attend a party. 

At PubSEG, we do everything we can to appease your students’ concerns and answer their questions, while also attempting to keep your campus and classrooms as safe as possible. 

If you’re looking for ways to help keep your students and faculty calm and informed amidst COVID-19 cases on campus, give us a call. We can’t promise we’ll relieve all of their stress and uncertainty, but we’ll always do our best to try.