Southeast Missouri State University student publication

COVID-19 positive students adjust to new living arrangements on campus

Friday, October 9, 2020
In preparation for the arrival of students, new washers and dryers were placed on each occupied floor for students, in case they needed to do laundry during their isolation/quarantine.
Photo by Madison Abanathie

Southeast has reported 284 total COVID-19 cases since they began tracking and reporting their data July 27. When a student receives a positive test result for the virus, specific steps are taken to ensure the safety of the student.

Music education sophomore Ella Crader is a student residing on campus who tested positive for COVID-19 a week ago. Crader is living in Dearmont and adjusting to the new arrangement.

“It’s a mixed bag for sure. There are times when I am really glad I was able to come here instead of going home and exposing my family,” Crader said. “But it’s also kind of grimy … the building is outdated, and it’s not hard to see why it’s no longer used. … The bathroom situation is less than ideal.”

Crader is attending classes online while she is in isolation. She said her professors are very helpful to her in this situation.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how willing they are to make accommodations for just one student,” Crader said. “Whether it just be setting up a Zoom in the corner of the room or sending me a bunch of emails explaining everything.”

Crader believes Residence Life can improve the transition process in a couple of ways.

“It just all kind of happens really fast, so I think just being more reassuring,” Crader said. “And then there being a clearer line of communication for who to contact if there are any issues. One thing I’ve been worried about is getting locked out of my room … the only thing I can do is send an email to one person at Residence Life and hope they see it.”

Students who were in close contact to a student who tested positive are notified they will need to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days. A COVID-19 test is not required of quarantined students, but if they begin to feel symptoms, they should contact the campus health clinic.

Once the information has been provided by the student, employees of Residence Life begin the process of transitioning them into isolation at the Dearmont Building.

Assistant Director of Residence Life Allan Mauk said all the necessary information will be communicated to the student.

“They are sent an email right off the bat saying this is the process to pick up your key for Dearmont, these are the options for your food … where the laundry room is, how to navigate through Dearmont,” Mauk said. “It is all done through emailing with the students.”

Residence Life notifies Chartwell’s of the student moving into isolation to provide meals during their time at Dearmont. Menu options are sent to the student, and meals are delivered twice a day to a central location. Breakfast and lunch are delivered at 8 a.m., and dinner is served at 5 p.m.

Isolated students have access to the washer and dryers found on each floor of the Dearmont building, as well as the community shower rooms. The hallways are cleaned on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and rooms are cleaned when there is an opportunity available.

Due to the recent spike in positive cases on campus, Southeast’s Residence Life is considering an additional cleaning day on the weekend, but remain confident in their current protocol.

“The process is really the same if there are four students or 84 students. Our process is set up if the building was full … the increase in numbers doesn’t change our process,” Mauk said.

Students in isolation currently receive emails from Residence Life one to two times during their stay. Director of Residence Life Kendra Skinner said they will be increasing the amount of communication with students.

“Kent Library has provided us with an email that we are now sending out to students to share resources they can access from their room,” Skinner said. “So, now it will be more of a series of emails they will be receiving during their time there, and then towards the end just as they are preparing to return to their normal assignment.”

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, contact the campus health clinic.

To stay up to date on confirmed cases on campus, visit Southeast’s daily data tracker.