Hill 10s and Commons residents receive ‘quarantine-in-place’ order

Emily Flamme, News Editor

Quinnipiac University shifted into a “yellow alert level” on Jan. 31, with students in the Hill 10s building and the Commons residence hall entering a 10-day quarantine period due to clusters of cases being found in those areas.

There are five confirmed cases in Commons and four in the Hill 10s. Those students were relocated to isolation housing in Complex residence halls — Sahlin, Bakke and Founders. 

Connor Lawless

“This is a new measure we’re using this spring to proactively mitigate the possible spread of positive cases in a much more localized manner,” according to an email from Residential Life to students who have a “quarantine-in-place” order. “In discussions with many other universities and colleges, this was found to be a very effective way to slow the spread of positive cases – and helped prevent institutions from experiencing larger outbreaks and preserve on-ground activities and classes.”

Melissa Beretta, a first-year media studies major who lives in Commons, said she appreciates that the university is taking necessary precautions, but is disheartened that the virus is spreading.

Residents in Hill 10s and Commons who have not tested positive and have not been directly exposed to the virus, can leave to get food, but cannot travel to any other part of campus.

“We don’t have any rules really — we can go pick up any food from the dining halls, either by pre-order by going and standing in line,” Beretta said. “I don’t really understand how they are going to be able to stop kids from sitting in the dining hall now that it’s open.”

Students in quarantine will have to take their classes remotely, which Beretta said is inconvenient since roommates might have classes at the same time. 

“We are supposed to limit interactions but not being able to take classes in a separate space makes it hard to learn easily,” Beretta said. 

Sydney O’Neill, a sophomore diagnostic medical sonography major, tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 29, and was transferred into isolation housing. 

O’Neill said she was given 45 minutes to pack up everything she would need for 10 days, and was supposed to be escorted to isolation housing, but was waiting for approximately an hour for the person to show up. 

“The school is not handling (COVID-19) patients very well at all,” O’Neill said. “Since I’ve been here, the food has been inedible — slimy, moldy, expired. It only comes once a day between 5:30-6:30 p.m.”

Isolation housing came equipped with extra food for the infected students. (Courtesy of Sydney O’Neill)

Communicating with the school and the health center has been difficult, O’Neill said. She is unsure about when her quarantine will end and that the health center is slow to answer students in isolation.
“We are given no medication unless we request it from the health center,” O’Neill said. “The health center has no medication for us. Not even the basics like vitamin C, Afrin (a nasal spray) or even Vaseline for our dry noses.”

O’Neill said the experience has been heartbreaking and that she thinks Quinnipiac can treat their students better, especially if they’re sick. 

“It is as if the school is punishing us for getting sick,” O’Neill said. “Quinnipiac boasts about how they love and care about their Bobcats, but treat them horribly when in isolation.”