Navigating a Pandemic as Roommates

Having a roommate is a great opportunity to expand your social circle and make more connections, but even in the best situations, it can be stressful at times. Add the current COVID-19 situation, and it can make things even more complicated. 


Orange couch by a window


  • First, we recommend all roommates fill out our roommate agreement to help start out on the right foot. Talking about things like what food you want to share and what hours you prefer to study can help you and your roommate maintain a good relationship in the long run.

  • In addition to talking about the typical roommate agreement topics, we recommend you also talk about the following subjects as they relate to COVID-19:

    • Guests
      • During COVID-19, are we ok with having guests in our home?
        • If so, who is allowed or how would you like to notify each other?
      • If we are not currently comfortable with guests coming over, when might we feel comfortable having guests over in the future?
      • How many people can be in our home at a time?

    • Masks
      • What are your thoughts on the usage of facial coverings in common areas?
      • Are guests required to wear masks in our apartment?

    • Cleaning
      • Do we want to increase cleaning practices?
      • What are things that need to be wiped down daily?
      • What additional items do we need to purchase (hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, etc.)?

    • Communication
      • How should we notify each other of health changes? 
      • What is the best way to communicate with each other if we are experiencing symptoms?
      • How would we handle a situation in which one roommate has to self-isolate?

    • Behaviors
      • What behaviors will we limit because we consider them to be too risky?
      • What travel do we have planned for this semester?
      • How do we want to handle grocery shopping (separate shopping, one person shops, curbside, etc.)?

    • Support
      • How can we support each other?
      • Should we schedule weekly mental health check-ins?
      • Do we want to set aside space for workout equipment?
      • Do we need increased quiet hours in the home?
      • Do we want to start a monthly game night or weekly roommate dinner?

You can print a worksheet version of these questions here to help you and your roommate have this important conversation.

Check out this roommate guidance resource from University Health Services for more insights and advice for living in a shared housing environment during COVID-19.