By Hailey Hensley
In the wake of increasing coronavirus cases across New Jersey and with Rider-connected individuals, students are left wondering what might happen to them if they return to campus and test positive for COVID-19.
While many easy questions are addressed in the “Resolved and Ready” plan that was sent out to students and faculty, there is still much to be desired in the way of information about the procedures surrounding sick and quarantined students.
According to Associate Vice President for University Marketing and Communications Kristine Brown, the university currently only possesses 100 test kits and is “working to secure another 100 saliva kits from Accurate Diagnostics.” Brown also mentioned that more test kits can be ordered as needed.
If a student was to go to Health Services seeking a COVID-19 test and was to then test positive, according to Brown, that student would then be given a window of time to secure some belongings from their on-campus residence before being transported to sick student housing.
It is important to note that commuting students are expected to be tested off-campus and will be responsible for their own quarantine housing, according to the plan given to New Jersey by the university.
In addition, students who live within 75 miles of campus, regardless of campus residency status, will be expected to remain at home for the duration of their illness or quarantine, according to the Resolved and Ready plan.
Brown stated that university quarantine would be enforced and breaking it would be punishable via the student code of conduct.
“We continue to check swipe access to the building to verify if a student has come in at any point. Public Safety is also making regular rounds of the building. Also, all students are required to complete the Shared Responsibility Pledge in order to enroll, which, among other things, states a commitment to quarantine per University/state requirements,” said Brown. “The expectations have been made clear and students have committed to abide by this and other healthy protocols.”
Brown also stated that students requiring isolation due to infection would be housed in two locations, one of those being on the Westminster Choir College (WCC) campus.
If a student is required to quarantine on the Lawrenceville campus because of being exposed to COVID-19, they would do so in Conover Hall, according to Brown.
Conover Hall is a dorm usually reserved for freshman students that does not have air conditioning, according to the university website.
Brown clarified that for students in quarantine and isolation, care will include “delivery of linens and food service and health care assistance, as required.”
Brown also mentioned that though it was less than ideal, the university would preserve the right to utilize the empty WCC campus for quarantine housing.
Senior organizational psychology major Ally Ward stated that “I don’t feel safe enough to return to campus because of the way the emails have sounded from the school. The back and forth really makes me feel like they don’t know what they’re doing just as much as I don’t know what I’m doing, and I really expected better from my school.”