COVID-19 exposure at Colorado College, entire dormitory under quarantine

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COLORADO SPRINGS — 155 Colorado College students are under quarantine in the Loomis Hall dormitory, after one student tested positive for COVID-19 a day after arriving on campus, according to a message posted on the school’s website on Sunday.

The message, signed by Acting Dean of Students, Rochelle Dickey, and Vice President, Brian Young, notes: “Unfortunately, today we learned that the enhanced social distancing protocols – which we expect of all students as they await their test results – were not followed. As a result, multiple people in Loomis Hall were exposed to this student, and Loomis Hall is now under quarantine for 14 days to mitigate further risk. Our 155 Loomis Hall residents have been notified to stay in their rooms except to use the restroom (while wearing masks). All traffic into and out of Loomis is restricted.”

The school’s message says the students who are under quarantine will be checked on and provided meals and the entire building will be deep cleaned.

Brian Young VP of Information Technology at CC speaking as to why 155 students were quarantined for one postitive case.

“All the contract tracing unfortunately just a little too much contact,” Young said. “This was the recommendation by local and public health experts.”

Students who were assigned to live in Loomis Hall, but who have not yet moved in, will be reassigned to other residence halls.

>> READ THE FULL MESSAGE HERE

According to the El Paso County Health Department, the current situation at Colorado College is not considered an outbreak, which is defined as two or more positive cases. On Monday, the department said it was aware of only one positive case on campus.

This year, move-in day for nearly 576 first-year students took place over a five-day period (August 13-17) to allow for social distancing, according to the college’s website.

The college said physical health and also mental health is a priority.

“We check in on students in isolation or students in quarantine. That’s an important thing, if you’ve ever had to isolate, it can be a little lonely. We are doing all those steps because we care about those community members,” Young said.

Young said it should be the student’s’ initiative to keep themselves safe.

“Our students are modeling the good behavior that we’re after,” Young said. “Making sure that we empower students to change charge and be able to feel comfortable saying ‘I need you to be in a mask. I need you to make sure we are not in large gatherings.’ I think that’s an important step, that we can empower our students to have the authority to do that.”

Despite the quarantine, classes are set to start August 24. Young said students in quarantine will have all the resources they need to attend class virtually.

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