Otterbein has turned Dunlap-King hall into quarantine housing for spring semester after COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Ohio.
The university made this choice after deciding to hold an on campus testing event Jan. 18. This was only the day before classes started.
Director of Residence Life, Tracy Benner, described Dunlap-King as the school’s insurance policy in case a breakout occurred on campus and many students would have to quarantine simultaneously. Currently it is not being used; However, if a breakout happens, the school would be prepared.
With the increase in COVID-19 cases all over Ohio these past few months, it is no surprise that the virus is still a main concern for campus officials. Multiple free testing events have occurred on campus, as well as implementing other rules to limit exposure among students. The university has answered many questions about COVID-19 protocols on their FAQ page.
Many students all over the nation have had to quarantine on their respective campuses this past fall. At Otterbein, students are given the option to either quarantine at home or on campus.
Cam Evans, a freshman allied health major, had to quarantine in November. Both his roommate and a few of his teammates on the men's basketball team tested positive.
Evans described Dunlap-King as a nice dorm to stay in for two weeks. However, not being able to go outside and be around other people definitely made quarantine harder.
“It was just really draining I guess, just sitting in a room all day,” stated Evans.
Once in quarantine, it's hard to get things a student didn't originally bring into quarantine with them. Evans found himself in trouble after he ran out of contact solution during his quarantine. “I told my coach and he went to the store and bought me a bottle. When he brought it to me, he parked in the alley under the window in my room, and I opened the window and he threw it up to me,” Evans said.
As for the previous students who used to live in Dunlap-King, they were moved out and put in other dorms on campus. According to one of the former resident assistants of Dunlap-King, Alexis Grimes, the residents were only given around a week in advance to move out of Dunlap-King.
“I didn’t get where I was going until probably five days before the end of the semester,” said Grimes. “That was a little stressful because I had to move everything, and at the same time there were finals going on.”
Currently, no one has had to quarantine in Dunlap-King this semester. After the school’s first testing event only around 20 students out of about 900 tested positive. So the dorm has not yet had to be put to use, but it is there in case of a breakout and the campus needs it.
For more information regarding COVID-19 cases on campus, check out Otterbein’s COVID-19 dashboard.