University adds 100 new COVID-19 isolation spaces

The+University+Housing+and+Information+Office+stands+tall+on+Sept.+18.+The+Universitys+new+COVID-19+rooms+remain+confidential.

Cameron Krasucki

The University Housing and Information Office stands tall on Sept. 18. The University’s new COVID-19 rooms remain confidential.

By Lilli Bresnahan, Staff Writer

The University has added 100 new isolation spaces for students who have tested positive for COVID-19. 

“The isolation rooms that we have available are available to students who live within University Housing facilities … This is specifically for residential students,” said Alma Sealine, executive director of University Housing. 

As of Jan. 26, there were over 70 isolation spaces still available. The location of these spaces is confidential.

“We don’t want there to be any sort of individuals or things that would interfere with those individuals being able to recover,” Sealine said. 

According to Sealine, individuals are put into isolation when they test positive for COVID-19. If it is safe for them to return home they are advised to, but if they are unable to, they are provided with an isolation space. 

If isolation spaces run out, individuals can contact the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, who will help them find an isolation space off campus. 

Close contact individuals who are fully vaccinated and boosted are not required to quarantine. 

If someone is unvaccinated or has not finished their vaccination series and has been in contact with a COVID-19 positive person, they can self-quarantine because they haven’t tested positive. 

In quarantine, individuals are required to test on day three and day five and monitor themselves for symptoms. If they test positive, they will be required to isolate and either go home or move to an isolation space. 

According to Sealine, the CUPHD has also collaborated with local hotels in order to provide isolation spaces within the community.  

“CUPHD uses grant dollars to pay for the hotel rooms,” said Candi Crause, CUPHD Infectious Disease director. 

Sororities and fraternities have set aside some space, depending upon the size of the house, to isolate. Those students can also work with CUPHD if they run out of space. 

Private Certified Housing dorms have set aside several spaces for quarantine and isolation as well. 

On Jan. 19, a Reddit user attached an image to their post showing that Presby Hall, a private housing dorm, wanted to turn the user’s sister’s dorm into a “COVID isolation ward.” 

“It is my understanding that Presby is not currently providing isolation space in the way the Reddit post describes,” said Mari Anne Brocker Curry, director of Housing Information, in an email. “Residents (who) have not been exposed cannot be housed with students who test positive.”

The University has been collaborating with the CUPHD to understand and follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.  

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