Quarantined students allowed two hours in the sun daily

A QU students stands by the door of his quarantine room.

By Michele Barletta

A new reality that students all over the country face this semester is the possibility of being placed in quarantine on campus.

The vice president of student development , Christine Tracy Ed.D. heads up the quarantine process on campus and explained that any student who tests positive for the virus is required to complete a 10 day quarantine period and anyone who is deemed to have been in contact with them will then be required to complete a quarantine period of 14 days.

“A contact is defined as anyone who was in close contact, six feet or closer, 15 minutes or longer,” Tracy said. “Those individuals are contacted and must quarantine for 14 days from date of last contact with the positive student.”

Men are currently in quarantine on the fourth floor of Padua Hall and women are staying at North Campus, there may also be students in campus houses but this depends on availability. Students also have the option to go home, however this creates an additional threat to the health of the students’ family.

“Going home puts potential risk on families, but because of so many unknowns many students are finding comfort at being at home with their families in their own bedrooms,” Tracy said.

“Students have been cooperative,” Tracy said. “Quarantining is hard, we recognize that, but the university is following CDC, IDPH, and ACHD regulations  and through these decisions we are hopefully mitigating the risk and stopping the spread as much as we can.”

One of the students in quarantine now is Ben Rachilla who says that given the circumstances, QU has handled the quarantine procedure fairly well.

“Interaction has been very minimal and the isolated lifestyle has been interesting to adjust to, but I understand the need for these policies in order to decrease further spread of infection,” Rachilla said via Zoom.

Rachilla has said that his volleyball coach, as well as his friends, have been have helped a lot by dropping off extra food and other supplies.

With students being isolated from society for an extended period of time, the issue of mental health is more prevalent now than before.

Tracy has said that the university takes into consideration the mental health of every student and has expanded their services to the students.

“Every decision the university makes takes the mental health of the student into consideration,” Tracy said. “We expanded our counseling services through QMG and informed every student at check-in of that when we handed out a new brochure explaining services.”

“I have been fortunate enough to have multiple friends and family members reach out and check in since the start of the quarantine,” Rachilla said.

Cooper Coleman is another student currently in quarantine and says that he has been able stay caught up with his class work as many of them are structured in a way which makes the transition to online quite easy.

Rachilla has mentioned that he has been able to keep up with class work. Stating that professors have been very supportive and helpful while students are in quarantine.

Students are now allowed out for two hours every day for exercise and sunlight. They are required to be masked, stay out of all buildings, and maintain a social distance.

“I think the mental aspect has been kind of rough, although recently with us being allowed to go outside, it has definitely made it better,” Coleman said.

Students fill out a Google Form every day, where they order their food from the cafeteria, and members of the athletic staff and student development drop it off outside their doors.

Rachilla is concerned about the level of hygiene that is maintained on his floor whilst he is staying there. Rachilla was greeted by broken glass, leftover snacks, and dirt all around his room when he arrived.

Rachilla is worried about the lack of sanitation to the rooms and especially the bathrooms that other students, COVID-19 positive or negative, are also using.

“This concerns me because it shows that no care was taken to sanitize the rooms after the previous person had left,” Rachilla said.

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