QU announces new measures to reduce spread of COVID-19

The circumstances have changed at Quincy University concerning the increased tally of students showing symptoms and testing positive for the virus. 

QU president Brian McGee, Ph.D., believes the university has had success following the procedures for placing students in quarantine but thinks they need to do more in order to reduce the number of cases. 

As of September 24, the number of infections has escalated to 87 since having just three positives on August 17.

“In reviewing the contact tracing and other data from our first six weeks of Fall 2020 courses, we have learned that students likely are not getting infected in their classes, labs, or other instructional activities,” McGee said. “Instead, all evidence suggests that students are becoming infected in their residential or social activities, whether they live on campus or off campus.”

The number of students being placed in quarantine changes daily, having a major impact on athletic programs, like men’s soccer. 

Member of the men’s soccer squad, Michele Barletta, from Linmeyer, South Africa, has been assigned to a single-occupancy room, 26 hours away from home. 

“Being alone in a room all day is a difficult thing to cope with,” Barletta said. “We’re sat in a room counting down the days wishing we were somewhere else and it has taken a toll on me mentally.” 

In order to eat, quarantined members must fill out a google form the day before and food from the cafeteria gets dropped off outside their rooms. 

However, for the non-quarantined students, it’s not much different. 

Effective on September 25, the residence students are requested to eat their meals outdoors or in their residence hall rooms due to a new measure of eliminating the dine-in services provided by the Quincy University cafeteria.

Jackson Gregory, who has dined on campus for three years, thinks it is an inconvenience for some students. 

“It forces students to go back to their room to eat instead of stopping by the Caf on their way to their next destination,” Gregory said. “But I also think it has to be done in order to help limit the spread of COVID-19.”

Because the all access meal plan is so expensive, Gregory feels that it is frustrating and annoying for him to not be able to get all the perks of it. 

“I don’t see how you can blame the cafeteria because they are following protocols,” Gregory said. “It is more of an issue with administration knowing the situation and not lowering the prices.” 

In addition to the on-campus dining services being reduced, students are requested to avoid off-campus dining, until Friday, October 9th, as well as shopping for the academic term.

“We recognize that these restrictions will be inconvenient for many members of our community,” McGee said. “We now have evidence of how COVID-19 is being transmitted at QU, we have adopted these new measures in order to have the maximum possible effect on the prevention of future COVID-19 infections.”

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