Covid-19 Changes FAQs

Updated 9/4/20

As we plan for fall, we recognize the ramifications of Covid-19 may present a number of concerns for our residents. There are a lot of unknowns at this point; however, we want you to know that Georgia Tech Housing and Residence Life is developing enhanced cleaning protocols, programming and distancing initiatives to prevent the spread of disease, while still providing the community and support to enhance your academic success and promote your personal growth and development. Additionally, we have made adjustments to our policy and procedures - you can find answers to our most frequently asked questions about our plan for fall below.

Residence Life Town Hall

On Thursday, September 3rd from noon - 1 p.m. we held a Town Hall with Residence Life leadership regarding upcoming occupancy changes. You can watch the recording at the link below. Using the questions submitted for the town hall, we will update the FAQs about the occupancy changes in the coming days.

Occupancy Changes

I currently live in a room by myself. What does this mean for me?

You will be able to stay where you are. No action is required on your part.

Can I get help moving?

Yes! Starting Thursday, September 3, you can pick up boxes from your area office. We will provide limited move assistance on Wednesday, September 9 and Thursday, September 10. First-year residents will be able to bring boxes to the lobby of their building beginning at 8 a.m. on those two days. These boxes will be delivered to the lobby of your new building so that you do not have to transport across campus. Items must be packed in the boxes provided in the area office and clearly labeled with your first name, last name, and new building name on top of the box. Movers will begin picking up boxes at 9 a.m. and will continue to carry items to the buildings until 5 p.m.

For items that don't fit in the boxes, they can still be transported to your new building lobby. All items will need to be labeled like the boxes with the resident's name and new building securely attached to the item and written clearly and legibly. Refrigerators will need to emptied and defrosted.

Residence Life staff will assist with checking your ID for pick-up at your new location.

If you are interested in this service, please look for an e-mail coming later this week with more information. By choosing to use the moving service, Georgia Tech is not responsible for damaged items.

If I move, can I return to my original assignment for the spring semester?

The de-densification plan is for the remainder of the academic year. Therefore, if you choose to move, your new room assignment will remain throughout the spring semester and you will maintain the contracted rate for your initial fall assignment.

What if I no longer wish to live on campus?

You may cancel at any time by logging into the My Housing portal and canceling your contract Any cancellations will follow the standard penalty fee schedule, which can be found on this page

What about the penalty-free cancellation window?

Following the Sept. 1 announcement concerning a plan to move student residents to single rooms, we received a great deal of feedback from students and parents. Many students told us they have formed close connections with their roommate, their hallmates, or their LLC. We heard these concerns and want our actions to reflect that feedback. Consequently, students are no longer required to move if they prefer to stay where they are. Housing will now encourage, but not require students to move to a single room.  

Since the decision for a resident to move is now optional, Housing will no longer offer a penalty-free cancellation window. Any cancellations will follow the standard penalty fee schedule, which can be found on this page.  

I'm not currently living on campus and want to apply for Spring 2021 housing. When does that process start? 

Spring only 2021 housing applicants will have the opportunity to apply for on-campus housing beginning in October. Please watch the Housing website for upcoming information with details for the application.

If I am moving into an apartment with a kitchen, can I cancel my meal plan?

You will maintain the same contracted rate for your fall and spring room assignment. As such, all first-year residential students will be required to maintain the first-year meal plan despite any new room assignments.

Can my roommate and I stay together?

Right now, one resident from each room will still receive a self-assign ticket to move; however, in the interest of allowing roommates to remain together, both residents can receive a self-assign ticket to move, if requested. If both roommates want to move, please have both roommates email information@housing.gatech.edu to request self-assign tickets for both residents.

In an effort to provide residents with a streamlined process, roommates in most cases or in non-LLC buildings may not be able to move together due to our vacant apartment availability. However, we do suggest that you work to select a room as soon as possible to get a single space that is close to your roommate if you wish to maintain proximity.

If I am in quarantine/isolation currently, can I still participate? 

Yes. Current quarantine/isolation residency will not interfere with your ability to participate. The physical move can be made after your quarantine/isolation has been completed.  

Phase I Students, or their roommates, who are living in a shared bedroom should have received an email to participate in the self-assign process to search for and assign themselves to an open single occupancy bedroom.  If the roommate prefers to move instead, please call the Assignments office at 404-894-2470 to request the swap of who can stay and who can move. If both roommates want to move together, that can be arranged also. 

I live in an LLC. How will this work if I move?

Please refer to the specific communication that went to LLC residents.

Isolation & Quarantine Process

Are there designated areas to isolate or quarantine students who live on campus? 

Yes. Georgia Tech’s isolation housing – for people positive for Covid-19 – is located at an off-campus hotel and overflow is in a student apartment building at 10th and Home used only for this purpose. Housing and Residence Life helps with transportation to the off-campus location and provides meal delivery during the isolation period. 

Some social media posts have suggested that Georgia Tech has knowingly placed individuals who have tested positive for Covid-19 into empty dorm rooms that are next door to or share common space with healthy residents. To be clear, that is not taking place. 

If a student is tested and diagnosed with Covid-19:

If a student is tested and diagnosed with Covid-19, the individual has to isolate. These student will be given the option to return home to isolate or to take advantage of the isolation housing Georgia Tech Housing and Residence Life provides. The student must remain there until medically cleared to return to campus housing and normal campus activities.

  • Georgia Tech’s isolation housing – for people positive for Covid-19 – is located at an off-campus hotel and overflow is in a student apartment building at 10th and Home used only for this purpose. Housing and Residence Life helps with transportation to the off-campus location and provides meal delivery during the isolation period. 
If a student is exposed to a person who has tested positive:

If a student is exposed to a person who has tested positive, the exposed student must quarantine for 14 days from last contact with the positive person. The student may choose to return home to quarantine or move to the off-campus hotel or overflow space in the empty building at 10th and Home.

If a student has not tested positive but it concerned about exposure or illness:

If a student has not tested positive, but is still worried about exposure or illness, that student is directed to get tested through surveillance testing (if asymptomatic) or Stamps Health Center (if symptomatic). 

If a student becomes concerned about exposure or illness after hours:

If the student becomes concerned about exposure or illness after hours, the individual should remain in place and away from others until tested. In these cases, there are two options:

  • They may be allowed to stay in their room if they do not share a bedroom or bathroom.
  • They may be placed in temporary housing as a precaution until they can seek testing the next business day
    • The temporary housing may be an empty, apartment-style space with its own bathroom in on-campus housing. This apartment space may be in a building where other residents may also live.

In both cases, meals are delivered to them so they do not have to leave the room until testing reopens or they can be moved to one of the designated isolation/quarantine locations. 

What accommodations will be made for students who are quarantined on campus?

Georgia Tech will ensure that students who isolate or quarantine on campus receive accommodations from their instructors, any health services they need, and individually boxed meals delivered to their isolation/quarantine location.

Safety in our Halls

Where can I get tested for Covid-19?  

We need all residents to get tested once a week in order to keep our community healthy, so we've made it easier with several testing sites located around residence halls every week:

  • Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. @ the Curran Parking Deck

  • Monday & Tuesday, 12 - 4 p.m. @ the GT Connector

  • Wednesday & Thursday, 12 - 4 p.m. @ NAve Centennial Room

  • Friday, 12 - 4 p.m. @ Tenth & Home Activity Room

Register and get your testing barcode at mytest.gatech.edu. Additional testing sites are available on campus, find more information on this page. Thanks for making testing a part of your weekly routine!

What is Housing and Residence Life doing to promote the health and well-being of residential students in response to Covid-19?  

There are a lot of unknowns at this point, however, we want you to know GT Housing and Residence Life is strategizing cleaning, programming and distancing initiatives to prevent the spread of disease, while still providing the community and support to enhance your academic success and promote your personal growth and development. Additionally, we have made several updates to our department policy and procedures. These changes include, but are not limited to:

  • Increased cleaning and scheduled closing to disinfect common area spaces. 

  • Providing resources for students to self-clean or wipe down kitchens, bathrooms, and common areas, if desired. 

  • Adjusting the guest policy to ensure that only residents assigned to that building, and select staff, are occupying the building at any given time.   

  • Implementing a modified residential programming model that adheres to CDC social distancing guidelines. 

  • Encouraging resident social distancing and other personal hygiene practices, including the use of a reusable facemask.  

  • Reserving the right to relocate any affected students to another room, hall, or other location in the event of a required self-quarantine or isolation as determined by Stamps Health Services. 

What if a residential student does not feel well and is experiencing symptoms? 

In the event a resident does not feel well or is exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19, we ask them to reference the Coronavirus Decision Tree linked below. Those residents should operate based on that guidance. 

What if a resident is immunocompromised?  

Residents with pre-existing conditions that put them at greater risk from Covid-19 are entitled to some accommodations through the Office of Disability Services. If you are concerned about your health risks, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 404-894-2563 to discuss your needs.

What are the wellness guidelines and community standards?

Wellness Guidelines were sent to incoming residential students on June 23, along with a limited opportunity to cancel housing contracts without penalty by Tuesday, June 30 due to those wellness adjustments and fall 2020 expectations. These guidelines include a number of protocols including but not limited to reducing access to common spaces, enhanced cleaning and adjusted guest policy, and limited face-covering requirements. The purpose of this cancellation window was to allow students an opportunity to cancel due to the enhanced community expectations for safety and cleanliness. Due to the implicit nature of the residential environment, it is imperative that residential students understand and participate in shared responsibilities to enhance safety.   

Will Georgia Tech provide on-campus residents with face coverings and any other preventative supplies?  

All residential students will receive a wellness kit upon move-in that includes a thermometer, a cloth mask, health information, hand sanitizer, and tips for accessing other campus services.

What Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will Georgia Tech Housing and Residence Life staff utilize?

Housing and Residence Life staff will follow the same Institute’s employee PPE requirements as everyone else. More information on these requirements can be found here

Housing and Residence Life staff that must enter residential rooms will be required to wear appropriate PPE at all times.  

How is Georgia Tech assigning rooms to students in light of Covid-19? 

Room assignments are complete for 2020-2021 all with the exception of first-year assignments and waitlist assignments. Those will be made after the close of the penalty-free cancellation period in order to avoid confusion and free up as many beds as possible to accommodate incoming first-year students, transfer students, and upper-class students who are on the waiting list.

The Department of Housing and Residence Life has proposed a model for housing in the fall maintaining double occupancy of residential rooms in traditional buildings that have common bathrooms on each floor.  

All triple and quadruple rooms in traditional residence halls will be eliminated for Fall 2020. We will work to maximize the number of single-occupancy residences available. 

Will first-year residents be able to request a single occupancy room?

Georgia Tech Housing is still finalizing room inventory details and has yet to communicate if any single rooms will be available for the fall 2020 semester. It is the goal of Georgia Tech Housing to offer a limited number of single rooms, but this has yet to be confirmed. If single rooms become available, communications will be distributed to residents via email.

 Does double occupancy apply to apartments? 

No. Apartments are considered single occupancy since there is one person per room.  

Residence Life in 2020

Social distancing requirements are by floor; are friends on other floors in the building allowed to visit/hangout?  

All meeting spaces in residence halls will be closed for the first eight weeks of the semester. Other common spaces that are more essential will have scheduled closings throughout the day to allow the housekeeping team to clean and disinfect the space. Occupancy of those common spaces will be limited to adhere to social distancing practices, including limiting occupancy of community restrooms. Residence hall water fountains are being changed to hydration stations.  

Housing events will have an online component, and a reservation system will be deployed to limit in-person attendance. 

What is the guest policy under Covid-19 operations?  

Due to Covid-19, there will be no guests or visitors allowed in the residence halls for at least the first eight (8) weeks of the semester. The department will assess this decision throughout the semester and provide ongoing, timely updates. Housing and Residence Life defines guests or visitors as individuals who are not assigned a room within the building. Residents who are assigned to the building will be permitted to visit other residents who are in the same assigned building.

We expect residents to adhere to no more than one guest per resident of an apartment or traditional style room at any given time. The RAs will work with roommate and apartment-mates to establish room/apartment agreements about how this will be managed. 

I heard that Georgia Tech plans to end fall instruction by Thanksgiving and conduct finals via a hybrid format. Can I remain in Housing after Thanksgiving?

Assuming the institution’s academic schedule does not change, residents will be able to remain in housing through the entire calendar year and until the spring 2021 semester begins.

International Students

We have heard from several of you and understand some are dealing with unique situations regarding their fall housing plans. The CDC recommends that all students who arrive in the U.S. quarantine for two weeks prior to returning to campus. To better accommodate your needs, we are adjusting our fall housing deadlines and asking you to provide an update on your current status. Please declare your intentions no later than August 3, 2020, by logging into the My Housing portal, clicking on Resources, and then selecting the "International Student Housing Intention Form".

Do all International Students have to quarantine before returning to campus?

No, a two-week quarantine is only required for students coming from abroad. If you are an international student who has been in the U.S. since March or completed quarantine in the U.S. previously this summer you do not need to quarantine. Students who quarantine can use the showers, bathrooms, and laundry, but should wear a mask any time they are outside their rooms. 

I am planning to arrive after classes begin, how do long do I have before my housing contract is canceled?

International students are permitted to arrive up to 30 days after the first day of class. If you are planning to arrive after the first day of class, please let us know via the International Student Housing Intention Form so that we can secure your space. If you have not arrived 30 days after the first day of class, the housing assignment will be canceled and you will be responsible for the full cancelation amount as outlined in the housing contract.

I need to cancel my 2020-2021 housing contract due to travel or visa complications. What do I do?

If you are an international student who is not able to travel to the United States due to a travel ban or difficulties obtaining necessary travel documents, you can submit proof of reason for canceling through the International Student Housing Intention Form by 5 p.m. on August 3, 2020. After submitting proof of reason, international students may cancel their housing application by 5 p.m. EST on August 3, 2020, without penalty. Any cancellations after 5 p.m. EST on August 3, 2020, will be subject to the normal cancellation fees.

International First-year students have the option to request deferment through the Office of Admissions. If Admissions approves the request, the student should cancel their housing contract prior to August 3 to defer their pre-payment to Fall 2021. If students prefer not to defer, they have until the first day of classes to check-in, otherwise, they will be considered a no-show, and their contract will be canceled, with applicable fees, and the room will be re-assigned.