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What Colorado State University students are going through in quarantine

EVENT STORY By Nikky Sims October 4, 2020 FORT COLLINS, CO – A dorm room is a place where you expect to have fun, make new friends, and gain new experiences without your family. While this is usually the case at Colorado State University, this year students have been faced with the decision to take the risk in the dorms while COVID-19 hangs over their heads. Thursday, October 1, there was a COVID-19 briefing for Larimer county that addressed the concerns of the people of the community and the recent closing of some dorms. President Joyce McConnell of Colorado State University addressed the concerns for the college explaining a new form of testing. She continued to explain how COVID-19 is spreading. “Gatherings are mostly where the sites of transmission are,” McConnell said, adding that Colorado State has not seen any transmission in classes trying to reduce everyone’s nerves. “Our protocols for testing, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation are incredibly rigorous,” McConnell said. What many want to know however is what quarantine is actually like. In recent weeks students from Braiden, Summit and a few other halls have been put into quarantine. This event has sprung the question of what students are experiencing. Students have been given two options. They can either go home to spend their time in quarantine or they can stay in the dorms. Either way can be beneficial but also horrifying. The COVID-19 FAQ states that the person with COVID-19 or the roommates can be moved out depending on the situation. Meaning students staying must move themselves and lug their belongings with them to an entirely new dorm for their quarantine period. The students are given a handout with rules and expectations if they decide to stay. They have normal activities such as getting food, taking out the trash, and doing laundry but in a different way than usual. The difference is trash is put outside their rooms, laundry is done by someone else and food is dropped off once a day between 10 am and noon. If students do not think about it soon enough they can go hungry. The students do not get their breakfast until mid-day completely throwing off the normal schedule they had before quarantine. The handout states that students must wear a mask when outside of the space, physically distance and limit contact of people. People watching can become a big pass time for the students in the dorm. They are separate from everybody they do not even get to see their family. The rumble of the white vans that drop off more students going into quarantine or the an occasional honking from the street below is the most exciting thing to come of it. Students can go outside but can also just watch from there windows of their rooms. It has felt like a jail cell to some of the students but in other ways it is their only option. Some students do not want to bring COVID home to their family or might have family to far away to realistically go home. Students mental health can be tested in these situations. Some student like the ones who actually test positive get to be in quarantine for ten days while the ones who were just exposed have to quarantine for 14 days. Students have the option to go home at any point if they feel they cannot complete their quarantine at the dorm. Colorado State University has made it an option for the sake of mental and physical health. The other option students have is going home. This can be scary as well since they could bring COVID home to there family. Freshman student Brianna Kline went home when told she tested positive. When asked why she decided to go home, Kline explained that she had dance classes that need more room than that of a dorm room making it the more reasonable one for her. Kline had to isolate for a week. When asked what it was like being home, Kline was reflective. “It wasn’t bad but definitely a little difficult to effectively do dance classes,” Kline said. “The room I quarantined in was spacious.” While both options has its pros and cons for students, Colorado State has tried to provide a safe environment. When asked how she felt about her college still being open, Kline was honest. “We shouldn’t have gone in person in the first place,” Kline said. Students, staff and faculty may still be scared about the dorms and COVID-19 but as President McConnell has stated the school is doing everything it can to keep everyone safe. When ending her discussion in the briefing, McConnell had brought reassurance. “We follow all of the Larimer county guidelines and the CDC and state guidelines,” McConnell said. Colorado State is doing everything they can to stay open even though some students may have to experience some hardships during their time there.

Picture of Zoom COVID-19 Briefing of Joyce McConnell updating Larimer county of Colorado State University’s conditions.

Defined difference between isolation and quarantine. Source from Colorado Official State Web Portal.

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