COVID-19 Roommate Discussion Guide

Ask yourself these questions before you move in with roommates during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • How comfortable are you with visitors coming over and being inside your living space?
    • Think about how you will talk to your roommates about having visitors, and how you might work out visitors coming over while engaging in physical distancing.
    • What will you do if your roommates won’t agree not to have visitors, or to engage in physical distancing when visitors are over?
  • How important is cleanliness in your living space? What are your expectations for cleaning and hygiene for your roommates?
    • How does COVID change your usual cleanliness standards?
  • Are you willing to take the lead in modeling and enforcing COVID safety measures if your roommates don’t want to wear masks, engage in physical distancing, etc.?
  • Is there a space in your rental unit where a roommate can isolate if they are exposed to COVID?
  • What will you do if you learn you were exposed to COVID?
  • How familiar are you with IU, City of Bloomington, Monroe County, and State of Indiana regulations and recommendations for staying safe, and reducing the spread of COVID-19? Here are some links to help you stay on top of the latest information, and to share with your roommates:

Ask your roommate(s) these questions to get on the same page about COVID. Don't forget to listen:


  • Do you wear a mask in public (in enclosed spaces, outside when physical distancing isn’t possible)?
  • When do you feel the need to wear a mask?
  • What are your hand washing tendencies?
  • How have you been getting groceries?
    • Do you clean your groceries (boxes, containers) before bringing them inside?
    • If so, how do you clean them?
  • What are your shopping habits and frequency? (ie. curbside pickup, delivery, in-store shopping)
  • Are you (have you been) practicing physical distancing?
  • What are your thoughts on the COVID-19 situation?
    • Do you believe physical distancing and mask wearing are important?
    • Do you believe being tested after showing symptoms is important?
    • Will you cooperate with efforts to contract trace if you, or one of your roommates, is diagnosed with COVID-19?
  • Are you taking additional precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19?
  • Has someone in your household, or with whom you are in regular contact, been diagnosed with COVID-19?
    • If so, when was it?
    • How was that situation handled?
  • Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19?
  • Have you been tested for COVID-19?
  • Are you in a vulnerable population outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Habits and Practice

Study and work habits

  • Have you been working remotely or in-person during the pandemic?
  • Have you been taking classes over the summer?
  • Are you planning to attend classes in person in fall 2020?
  • Are you going to work off campus during the school year?
    • If so, is your employer complying with CDC and State recommendations on physical distancing, mask wearing, and hand washing?
    • If you don’t know, are you willing to inquire?

Leisure and social habits

  • Are you planning to go to restaurants and bars as they start to reopen?
  • Will you wear a mask and engage in physical distancing when you go out?
  • How often do you visit or stay with family, significant other, or friends?
  • How often do you plan to have visitors over?
    • Are you willing to ask friends and others who visit to wear a mask, and practice physical distancing?


  • Do you have plans to travel this year?
  • If you travel in the U.S., what means of travel will you use? (plane, car, other?)
  • Have you reviewed recommendations on how to travel safely?
  • Are you willing to self-quarantine when you return?

Lease and Household-Specific Questions

  • If at least one roommate deems it unsafe or is uncomfortable with having others over, are you willing to honor that?
  • Are you willing to help with extra cleaning during this time? Will you participate in a chore chart?
  • What are your plans for the school year?
    • Can you commit to a 12-month lease?
    • If not, have you talked to the landlord about a shorter lease, or what to do if you have to leave before the lease is over?
  • Do you have a plan for finding a subtenant if necessary? (if the lease allows subleasing)
  • What are your plans if IUB has to move to 100% remote instruction sooner than November?
    • Would you stay in Bloomington?
    • Do you have a backup plan?
  • If one of us has symptoms or tests positive for COVID, what is our plan of action?
    • Quarantine areas?
    • Are you willing to isolate for your roommates’ needs?
  • Have you signed, or reviewed, the IU Student Commitment Form
    • Do you agree to abide by the terms of the SCF?
  • Have you reviewed IUB’s restart and safety recommendations?