Amid the rising cases of the novel coronavirus on campus, one American university decided to take the urgent measure of requiring all of its students to quarantine for the rest of the summer.
Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania issued an “immediate” all-student quarantine this week, according to the college’s website.
“We have begun to receive test results from this week and have more positive cases to report, ” Dean of Students Julie Ramsey stated on the college’s official message. “As of 6 p.m. tonight, of the 348 test results we have received, 25 of those have been positive.”
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Ramsey stated that due to the escalating cases, the college has increased the alert level to “high.”
In order to implement the all-student quarantine, students are instructed to only leave their rooms for four things–to use the restroom, pick up food, go to a scheduled COVID-19 testing appointment or speak with a counselor, according to college’s website.
In the school’s official message, Ramsey stressed the importance of mental health during this time of isolation.
“We understand that a residential restriction will not be easy and that the current situation on campus is not what any of us had in mind when we decided to return residentially,” Ramsey said. “This is a moment when we must join together, support one another, and fully comply with our community health and safety protocols.”
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All classes and labs will be taught remotely. The other significant consideration is that “in-person” student employment is now off the table. Only virtual work is permitted.
Ramsey said that after this week’s quarantine, the school will be better prepared to assess “how we should proceed best as a community” and the protocols in place for the rest of the semester.
“I will say it’s a little hard to be stuck in a room 24/7. Especially mentally. It’s good to get outside and get some air and to be able to walk around and get some exercise,” Gettysburg student Lauren Mitchell told WHTM.
Another Gettysburg student weighed in on the lockdown.
“I’d much rather be cooped up for about a week instead of having to be sent home and be cooped up in my house for the next couple months like we have been,” Gettysburg student Lily Morrell told WHTM. “So I think it’s good that the school is really cracking down on making sure these cases don’t grow more.”