COVID-19 exposure threatens UI students’ Thanksgiving plans 

Junior+Jessica+Osemwengie+deposits+her+completed+COVID-19+test+into+the+receptacle+at+the+State+Farm+Center+testing+site+on+Oct.+9.+Some+students+are+unable+to+go+home+for+Thanksgiving+break+due+to+having+to+quarantine.

Cameron Krasucki

Junior Jessica Osemwengie deposits her completed COVID-19 test into the receptacle at the State Farm Center testing site on Oct. 9. Some students are unable to go home for Thanksgiving break due to having to quarantine.

By Mona Alrazzaq, Staff Writer

As Thanksgiving break approaches, some students’ plans to return home for the holiday might be interrupted due to an unexpected need to quarantine. 

Sarah Mendes, junior in LAS, was advised by the C-U Public Health District to quarantine for two weeks after being exposed to somebody who tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. 

Though she has been tested twice and the results came back negative, she is hoping that result stays consistent over the next week. She had a plan to head home for the week off but might now put that plan on hold. 

“It was a lot of back and forth with my parents about whether I should come home or not,” Mendes said. “At the end of the day, I decided that for their safety, in the event that I do test positive, it’s better that I do just stay on campus.”

If Mendes’ tests remain negative, her plan changes to going home for the weekend and self-isolating in her room for the remainder of the two-week period. Despite the disappointment of potentially remaining on campus when she planned to go home, she is coping well.

“I’m kind of really focusing on school work and trying to keep myself busy to not dwell on the fact of that possible positive COVID test,” Mendes said. 

Marianna Kalembasa, senior in LAS, has also been recently exposed to COVID-19. Though she did not receive a call from any officials, she took it upon herself to do her own research and isolate herself accordingly. 

“I will be quarantining for a full two weeks for the safety of my other two roommates,” Kalembasa said. “I don’t want to get anyone else sick.”

Kalembasa has been taking COVID-19 tests every other day since she was exposed. So far, they have also all come back negative. 

Her plans for Thanksgiving break are impacted slightly due to her situation, though she hopes they are not permanently altered. Saturday will be two weeks since her exposure, so she will head back home then if she continues to test negative. 

“My biggest fear is just getting other people sick and impacting someone else’s life,” Kalembasa said. 

Because one of her roommates comes in contact with people through work and her other roommate has asthma and is therefore at risk, Kalembasa is taking extra precautions to prevent them from getting sick.

“I wear a mask around my apartment, I wipe up everything with disinfectant wipes after me and I make sure that nobody is downstairs when I do go downstairs to get water,” Kalembasa said. 

Regarding the possibility of rerouting her plans for Thanksgiving break, she has developed an “it is what it is” mentality. 

“I will be disappointed, I love Thanksgiving, but I’m sure my mom will bring me leftovers, and I will enjoy Thanksgiving in my room by myself,” Kalembasa said. 

Despite the uncertainty and bad timing of an unfortunate situation that they are in, both Kalembasa and Mendes remain optimistic about returning to their daily activities soon. 

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