University of Mississippi working on identifying on- and off-campus quarantine housing

Published 5:10 pm Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Students have begun trickling back into Oxford throughout August and beginning on Saturday, freshman can begin moving into their on-campus housing.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still a threat, the University has begun looking into solutions for students who might test positive for COVID-19 throughout the year while also keeping the rest of their residence hall safe.

According to Rod Guajardo, Associate Director of Strategic Communications for Ole Miss, the school has a few options in play that include using other 0n-campus housing as well as possible off-campus locations.

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“The safety and well being of students, faculty and staff is our top priority as we navigate a return to campus for the fall 2020 semester, Guajardo told the EAGLE in a statement. “The Department of Student Housing has identified several spaces to isolate students who test positive for COVID-19. Housing will coordinate with University Health Services if a student living in on-campus housing will need to move to an isolation housing location. Additionally, Student Housing is identifying off-campus properties for quarantine housing purposes. We believe the extensive measures put in place with our Campus Ready Plan will keep members of our campus community safe while also allowing students to have a memorable college experience.”

In the University’s Campus Ready Plan’s Health and Wellness section, it states a student who tests positive should plan to quarantine for 14 days as well as any roommates who may have come into close contact with them.

It was reported by The Dispatch earlier this month that Mississippi State University had rented two Starkville hotels for the entire fall semester to serve as locations for students who test positive to quarantine and isolate.

Approval from the Institute of Higher Learning was needed for both Ole Miss and MSU to look into off-campus housing options for quarantine.

The University’s “Groovin at Move-in” week-long event begins on Saturday and allows students to move into their dorms throughout next week. There are new protocols in place to help with social distancing, including appointment times as well as only two people allowed in the dorm at one time when moving a student in.

The fall semester begins on Aug. 24 with in-person and online instruction being offered.