The novel coronavirus can spread easily between people living together, so we’re put together this sample roommate agreement for students living off-campus that outlines steps you can take to reduce your risk.

We’ve provided this sample agreement based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health guidance. You can adapt this or create your own. Either way, we recommend starting the conversation with your roommates now if possible, so there’s time to discuss these issues before move-in.


Roommates agreement for maintaining health and safety and preventing the spread of COVID-19

The best way to prevent COVID-19 illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. We agree to do this by taking steps that reduce the spread, maintaining a healthy household and preparing for when someone gets sick, both during move-in and while living in our shared residence.

As members of the University of Washington community, we will care for each other by complying with health and safety laws, orders, ordinances, regulations and guidelines of the State of Washington and the University of Washington, including taking all necessary precautions outlined in this agreement.

Together, we will:

  • Determine collectively how this agreement will be used to protect the health and safety of all household members
  • Follow all public health guidelines when we’re outside our residence, including the 3 W’s: wearing face coverings, washing our hands, and watching our distance by keeping at least 6 feet away from other people
  • Consider any special needs or accommodations we need to make for higher-risk people in our building, neighborhood or campus community such as older adults and anyone who has underlying medical conditions
  • Talk to each other proactively and respectfully if we have concerns for our health and safety, or the health and safety of others


Face coverings

Together, we will:

  • Wear face coverings in all spaces we share with other households (e.g. in an apartment complex) such as hallways, stairwells, elevators, and laundry rooms


Gatherings and visitors

Together, we will:

  • Minimize the number of visitors to as few as possible and meet them outdoors while staying masked and 6 feet apart.
  • Talk with each other before inviting visitors to our residence, especially if a roommate plans to visit someone who is at increased risk for serious illness from COVID-19 infection within the next 14 days.
  • Record visitors in a guestbook to assist in contract tracing in the event one of us becomes ill with COVID-19


Physical distancing

Together, we will:

  • Limit the number of people who can be in hallways, stairwells, elevators, laundry rooms, and other common spaces we share with other households and post signs to that effect


Health precautions

Together, we will:

  • Avoid contact with individuals who have COVID-19, or have tested positive
  • Wear face coverings in class and in public
  • Stay home for 14 days and get tested if one of us comes in close contact with someone with COVID-19
  • Know where to find the closest urgent care clinic
  • Know where to find the closest COVID testing site
  • Get our annual flu shots.
  • Share contact information for friends and family so we can contact loved ones in a medical emergency.


Cleaning and disinfection

Together, we will:

  • Wash our hands and use hand sanitizer frequently
  • Establish a daily schedule to clean and disinfect high touch surfaces (door knobs, light switches, remote and gaming controls, computer keyboards and mice), and bathrooms, kitchen and shared living spaces
  • Stock up on soap and hand sanitizer and clean towels for drying hands
  • Store our toiletries in our rooms, rather than the bathroom, if possible
  • Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, and utensils


If one of us gets sick or has COVID-19 symptoms, we will:
  • Stay in our rooms and self-isolate from others
  • Take the precautions listed in the FAQ “What do I do if I feel sick?”
  • Get tested for COVID-19
  • Notify the UW Environmental Health & Safety Department at to report confirmed or suspect COVID-19 illness
  • Designate, if possible, one bathroom for any roommate who tests positive or becomes ill. Or, set a regular cleaning schedule for shared bathrooms.
  • Agree on a process for cleaning and disinfecting everything the sick roommate may have touched up to 48 hours before symptoms began
  • Ask visitors to stay away until the sick roommate has recovered
  • Support each other (e.g., help with meals, extra cleaning, contacting instructors and/or advisors, etc.)
  • Keep the sick person’s laundry separate
  • Read additional tips for Caring for Someone Sick at Home


Things to remember:
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you should immediately self-isolate for at least 10 days after your symptoms first appeared.
  • If you had close contact with anyone with COVID-19, immediately self-isolate for 14 days (or as directed by a public health official or EH&S) and get tested.
  • Call 911 if any roommate has trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, sudden confusion, the inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.