WKU’s quarantine housing sees changes in location, meals and duration

Information courtesy of Bob Skipper. Infographic by Lily Burris.

WKU announced changes to COVID-19 housing and quarantine policies to more accurately provide for and protect students on campus during the upcoming semester.

Bob Skipper, director of media relations, said in an email that the new system will place quarantined students within a wing of Bates Runner Hall and the International Village.

“[Last semester] WKU had approximately 280 quarantine spaces allocated and used only a fraction of those spaces,” Skipper said. “This semester, we have allocated approximately 50% of the fall number, which we anticipate will meet the institution’s needs.”

In the fall, WKU relied on several different locations to house quarantined students. Logistical challenges resulted in Barnes Campbell Hall, currently under deconstruction, becoming the primary location for students to quarantine.

Quarantine meals have also changed, with the university opting instead to provide students with a customized box of food items that students select themselves.

“All meals are microwavable, so students can have a hot meal of their choice on their schedule,” Skipper said. “It also includes drinks and fruits and vegetables in addition to breakfast items and deli supplies to prepare sandwiches.”

This differs from last semester wherein meals were chosen daily via student surveys, prepared at DSU, then distributed throughout quarantine locations, leading to some students reporting missing meals and cold food.

According to the email, supplies will also include: thermometer, shampoo, soap, lotion, other hygiene products, laundry detergent pods, dryer sheets, cough drops, coloring books, colored pencils, toothbrush, toothpaste and shower caps.

“Thanks to the Student Government Association and HRL’s Residence Hall Association, we have a supply of items to help make our students’ stay in quarantine as pleasant as possible,” Skipper said.

Online games will also be hosted, which Skipper said “will help to build a sense of community and ease feelings of isolation.”

Students have the choice to opt for 10-day stays if they have tested negative or 14-day stays without a test, which still adheres to updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Previously, all students, regardless of their test result, were required to quarantine for 14 days if they had come in contact with someone with a positive result.

Within four hours of being made aware, students who require quarantine will need to contact the COVID Assistance Line at 270-745-2019.

WKU’s Healthy on the Hill guidelines, mandating masks and social distancing, have remained largely unchanged and still require adherence to CDC suggestions.

As of Jan. 18, Graves Gilbert Clinic at WKU will extend testing hours to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Digital News Editor Michael J. Collins can be reached at [email protected] You can follow him on Twitter @MJCollinsNews.