Gonzaga sets aside spaces of isolation

On campus GU students, who are isolating, will be placed in the Sharp Apartments and Roncalli House.

In the event a student living on-campus tests positive for COVID-19, Gonzaga has repurposed two of its residence halls to serve as isolation units capable of housing up to 75 students.

According to Taylor Jordan, GU’s COVID-19 coordinator, there are 43 beds available in Roncalli House and 32 beds available in the Sharp Apartments.

On-campus students who test positive for COVID-19 will be housed in Roncalli House, whereas students who are awaiting test results and unable to self-isolate while exhibiting symptoms will be housed in the Sharp Apartments.

“We use two separate places to avoid exposures to students who are symptomatic but not confirmed positive, from students who are confirmed to have COVID-19,” Jordan said via email. “They may have the flu, or some other illness, and we do not want these students to be exposed to COVID-19 while they wait for their results.”

Students who test positive will be required to stay in their isolation unit for at least 10 days after the onset of their symptoms or positive test result if asymptomatic and can be released after being fever free for 24 hours. 

Each unit is a single-occupancy room and has two sets of linens and a microwave for students’ use.

Meals will be delivered to students once a day, which will include their lunch, dinner and breakfast for the next day. Students will communicate with a Sodexo dietitian who arranges their individualized meal plan while taking into account any allergies or dietary restrictions.

Students may bring anything they want with them when entering isolation but are advised to bring enough essential items for two weeks such as clothes, toiletries and academic material. Deliveries can be coordinated if a student forgets an essential item.

As for students living off-campus in the Spokane area, GU has been collaborating with the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) to identify available options.

Off-campus students who test positive for COVID-19 will communicate with a GU contact tracer as well as an SRHD case investigator for guidance on how to properly self-isolate.

“If an off-campus student cannot safely isolate in their space, Gonzaga will work with the SRHD to safely remove that student from that space so that roommates can quarantine separately from the student who tested positive,” Jordan said via email.

Kristiana Holmes, the director of Health & Counseling Services, says that during the isolation process, both on and off-campus students will have a multitude of resources to available to them.

“The COVID-19 coordinator and contact tracers are part of [the COVID-19 Action Response Team] (CART) and work with entities such as Housing and Residence Life, Sodexo Dining Services, Health and Counseling Services, Plant Services, academics, the Center for Cura Personalis and others to ensure students have what they need during isolation,” Holmes said via email.

According to guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those who self-isolate at home should stay in a separate room from other house members and use separate bathrooms when possible. The CDC also recommends avoiding contact with house members as much as possible and not sharing personal items such as silverware and towels.

If students have tested positive, have any known exposure or have any questions related to COVID-19, they can contact GU’s COVID-19 hotline at (509)-313-7070.

Devan Iyomasa is a staff writer. Follow her on Twitter: @devaniyomasa. 

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