A look into quarantining on MNSU campus

Minnesota State University, Mankato is prepared to provide isolated living quarter for students with COVID-19 or who have come into contact with someone who tested positive. The first option, however, is for students to quarantine at home if possible. 

When a student has tested positive or has come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they are instructed to call a healthcare provider and start quaranting immediately. 

The campus provides a hotline to Student Health Services that is available during regular business hours. To get more information or to schedule a COVID test, contact them at 507-389-5591. If you need assistance after hours it is highly recommended that you call the Mayo Clinic Health System at 507-625-4031, which is a 24-hour COVID-19 Nurse Line. 

If reported directly to the campus you will receive a phone call from a Residential Life staff member who works with students who need to quarantine. The staff member will go over your options and discuss the next steps based on your individual situation, whether it’s returning home or quarantining/isolating on campus. If you choose to isolate in one of the quarantine dorms there is no additional cost for doing so. 

“We are definitely prepared if we need to move students to isolated dorms. We have plenty of housing, so if we see a spike we are more than capable of taking in students and making sure they get better and then send them back into their normal routine here at school,” said Anna Sunderman, MNSU’s Isolation Coordinator. 

“Being adaptable and open has been a big lesson I learned through all of this and also taking it in as it comes to us. With the uncertainty of everything, the biggest thing is making sure the students have support when going through all of this and being able to accommodate them as much as possible,” Sunderman continued.

The main quarantine dorms are located in Preska and Stadium Heights, the off-campus apartments, provide these spaces needed for quarantine. Currently there is only one student in the quarantined dorms for their isolation period. 

After being situated either at home or on campus students should call the Campus Reporting Hotline at 507-3892030 to know how many days they will be staying in quarantine. The Minnesota Department of Health highly suggests a 14-day isolation period to ensure the highest level of safety.

As for accommodations, Residential Life will offer tons of resources if you are not able to quarantine at home.

This includes moving assistance to and from a temporary room assignment, meal deliveries to their room door Monday-Friday where students can expect to receive breakfast delivered around 8:30 a.m., lunch at 11:30 a.m., and dinner at 4:30 p.m. 

Regarding the weekend, students will receive a re-heatable brunch with their dinner delivery the night before and a hot dinner around the normal weekday time at 4:30 p.m.

When it comes to other everyday tasks such as mail or package service, laundry, trash service, phone calls, and pharmacy medication, MNSU has a system in place to protect staff members that are picking up and delivering to the students in quarantine. 

■ Students can place their dirty laundry in linen bags and MSU staff will pick up the bags and have it cleaned by a local vendor. Clean laundry will be returned to the student within 1-2 days and dropped off at their room door.

■ Trash service disposes of their trash that is set outside their room door and then the cleaning staff can take it out for them.

■ Pharmacy services are provided upon request or if they are prescribed. MNSU staff will pick up prescriptions from the Pharmacy located in Student Health Services and deliver them to the isolated room.

■ Regular phone calls to check in on the emotional wellbeing of the student is common and MNSU encourages students to reach out for support services if needed. 

Evan Taylor, an MNSU freshman who spent time in an isolated dorm room, said, “While being brought to the quarantine dorms they told you what to bring, but they couldn’t do much to help since they couldn’t get close to me.” 

Taylor’s experience lived up to the expectations he had. 

“The rules were to stay there for 10 days after your first symptoms and you are not allowed to leave the dorm,” he said. “I only received the food and trash service since I wasn’t there very long. Overall the experience was super boring while staying in the dorm days on end.”

Other items that are included is a mini fridge, microwave, Kleenex, thermometer, toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash, shampoo), hand soap, paper towels, cleaning supplies and trash bins, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, linen bag for laundry service, toilet paper, and bottled water. 

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