Three locations have been designated quarantine spots for WKU students living in on-campus housing who contract COVID-19.
Students who test positive will be relocated to the International Villages
— a set of cottages originally for visit- ing international scholars — a wing in Bates Runner Hall or Barnes Campbell Hall, according to Mike Reagle, executive director for housing and dining.
Barnes Campbell, currently surrounded by construction, was originally slated to be torn down in the summer, but Reagle said the university chose to set it aside as “overflow” for sick students.
Reagle said his department works with Graves Gilbert Clinic and makes decisions for placement based on a positive test and whether the student is symptomatic or not.
A residence hall like Barnes Campbell, which has community style bath- rooms, will place students on floors according to diagnosis, Reagle said. That means there will be floors for symptomatic students, asymptomatic students and those who were contact traced and asked to isolate.
Reagle said an outside cleaning company will be contracted to clean these spaces.
If a student who tests positive has a similar diagnosis to their roommate, and they live in a dorm room with a private bathroom, they can both stay there.
There are 334 beds for quarantine, and as of Friday, two were in use.
Bob Skipper, director of media relations, said when students receive a positive diagnosis and are asked to quarantine, they have the option to go home for quarantine if they prefer.
Each quarantined student will have meals delivered to them by an assigned Housing and Residence Life staff member. Reagle said the meals will be placed at their doorstep for no-contact delivery. Students can select their meal from an app, and it will be charged to their dining plan as usual.
The same HRL staff member will regularly check on the student and
help them keep up with school work, Reagle said.
The university’s guidance on its quarantine and isolation plans are made in conjunction with GGC and the Barren River Health Department, Reagle said.
Despite about 60% of classes being offered in online or hybrid formats, Reagle said housing hasn’t seen a change in the number of students living in on-campus housing. Of the requests for exemptions from housing since March, only eight requests listed online or hybrid courses as the reason for the request, according to documents obtained by the Herald.
Much like everywhere in WKU’s restart plan, masks are required in shared areas of dorms, including lobbies and bathrooms.
“The students that are here want to be here, and that’s why it’s so essential that we get the message out to them that says, listen, if you want to be here, you’ve got to follow the rules of wear- ing a mask,” Reagle said.
When asked about what would hap- pen to housing in Kentucky Street Apartments if residence halls were to close, Reagle said the university hadn’t talked much about it.
“We’ve made all the plans that we’ve made to keep the residence halls open,” Reagle said.
Laurel Deppen can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @laurel_deppen.