Residential Life prepares for pandemic precautions next semester
Students who test positive or are exposed to COVID-19 in the days leading up to winter break may have to stay on campus until their 10-day isolation period ends.
Under current policy, students who are exposed to COVID-19 must be quarantined in a separate room for ten days, most of which are located in the Lakeside buildings. As the end of the semester approaches, students are questioning how administration will deal with students who are exposed or infected with COVID-19 before winter break begins.
The process will mostly remain the same, with a few alterations. According to Leon Hayner, dean of students, Rollins has “committed to working with students and still caring for them even if it’s past the end of the traditional semester.”
Students who are exposed to the virus will still be required to quarantine, but they will have the option of traveling home if they can travel by private vehicle. Those who are unable to travel safely will be required to remain on campus for the duration of their quarantine.
Since most residential halls will close on Dec. 19, students who remain on campus will quarantine in Lakeside instead of their usual dorms. Hayner said that Rollins will continue to work with campus Dining to feed quarantining students during this time.
While the pandemic will hopefully improve throughout the spring semester, Rollins is still working to improve its ability to handle possible outbreaks on campus.
According to Juan Escobar, the director of Residential Life & Explorations, Rollins will be adding 184 new beds to Lakeside in Spring, with 12 of those beds being used for additional isolation space on campus.
While Rollins is preparing for every eventuality, the hope is that these measures will prove to be unnecessary in the end. Whether or not any outbreaks occur on campus ultimately comes down to the personal responsibility of individual students. To that end, Hayner is encouraging students to remember the Tars Promise and behave responsibly for the sake of the Rolllins community.
“We want to be able to finish this semester successfully,” said Hayner. “So, make good choices and continue to wear your masks. Continue to physically distance and avoid spaces where COVID-19 could be being spread easily. We want students to finish strong this year.”