Students in Braiden, Summit Hall ordered to quarantine

Serena Bettis

Colorado State University students living in Braiden and Summit halls have been ordered to quarantine, effective immediately, as of Sept. 24, according to an email sent late last night by University President Joyce McConnell. 

McConnell wrote in her email to students, faculty and staff that this mandatory quarantine is based on testing from Sept. 24 that found high levels of COVID-19 in the wastewater at these halls. 

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“The amount of time you are required to be on quarantine will depend upon several factors, but we are committed to minimizing the impact of this order as much as possible.” -Pandemic Preparedness Team in an email to residents of Braiden and Summit Hall

“I want to be very clear that our first priority now, as always, is the health and well-being of our entire campus community,” McConnell wrote. “This means that this weekend we will be testing all students living in the two impacted residence halls and making medical care available to all students who are sick and develop symptoms.”

According to McConnell’s email, students in Braiden and Summit will be delivered meals, starting with breakfast Sept. 25. 

In the email sent to students living in Braiden and Summit, the Pandemic Preparedness Team said Braiden Dining Center will only be open to Braiden residents, and a tent will be located outside Summit Hall for students to pick up food at designated hours each day throughout the quarantine period.

The Pandemic Preparedness Team said it is setting up mandatory testing tents outside of these residence halls on Saturday and will notify students of their results within 48 hours. Although these halls were already undergoing mandatory testing, students tested this week may be required to be tested again.

According to the email sent to Braiden and Summit Halls, students will also be required to be tested again after several days, as nasal swab tests do not show infection as quickly as wastewater testing does. 

“Determining all of the positives in your hall will take some time,” the email read. “You should expect to be on quarantine for a period of time that will allow us to identify those students who have COVID-19 and their close contacts. The amount of time you are required to be on quarantine will depend upon several factors, but we are committed to minimizing the impact of this order as much as possible.”

The email said that students who repeatedly test negative will be released from quarantine on a timeline determined by public health officials. This will happen after determining many factors, including wastewater testing of the halls after all students who test positive are moved to another location for a period of isolation. 

In her email, McConnell said that while the wastewater testing is extremely sensitive to traces of COVID-19, the numbers are “climbing a bit,” and students need to remain committed to wearing a mask, avoiding large gatherings, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others, washing hands for at least 20 seconds and filling out the daily symptom checker. 

“To our students who are now in quarantine: We are doing all we can to get you all back out onto campus and to class, and we are going to do all we can to support you in the meantime,” McConnell wrote. “I know this is unbelievably hard and not how you wanted to spend your semester, but I also know you are smart and strong and you care about each other. You’ll get through this. We are here for you.”

Serena Bettis can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @serenaroseb.

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