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Texas State responds to claims that coronavirus-positive students are being held in dorms

Texas State University is addressing how it handles COVID-19 on campus, specifically where COVID-19-positive students stay.

SAN MARCOS, Texas — As college students return to school, people are asking how Texas State University is handling COVID-19 on campus. 

Texas State University has responded to claims that coronavirus-positive students are staying inside residence halls and answering other questions.  

Are COVID-19-positive students being placed in residence halls?

Texas State said no. It said COVID-19-positive students will be asked to either go home for isolation, or, if that's not possible, they'll go to a designated isolation spot in a university-owned apartment, not a residence hall. The university said the isolation apartments are separate from other apartments. The university also said when a student is in isolation, they must stay in the designated isolation space and avoid contact with others.

What happens if someone lives in a residence hall and comes into close contact with a positive case?

Texas State said it'll encourage that student to head home to quarantine and get tested. If the student can't go home, they will move into one of the four residence halls with empty floors, which are designated for students in quarantine. During quarantine, the university said students will be tested for COVID-19. The students must stay in their quarantine room away from other residents, attend classes remotely, not engage with the community and have meals delivered until their 10-day quarantine period is over. Quarantined students will also get a COVID-19 test. If positive, they will be required to leave campus to recover or move to the university isolation facility.

What happens if a student tests positive after being in class? Does the whole class have to quarantine?

According to the university website, if a student was in class while infected with COVID-19, contract tracers will determine if anyone else in the class meets the close contact criteria. If so, the person will be contacted, asked to quarantine and get a COVID-19 test.

What should students do if they test positive for COVID-19 or if they come in close contact with someone who tests positive?

The university said students, faculty and staff who test positive or are identified as a close contact should report it in Bobcat Trace. This initiates the university’s contact tracing process in hopes of stopping future possible infection. People who test positive are required to self-isolate either away from campus or in the university isolation facility for 10 days from the start of symptoms. They cannot go back to class or work until the isolation is complete. Before returning to class or work, they also must be fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.

Are face masks required on campus?

According to the university website, face coverings are required in public spaces. Students don't have to wear a face mask if they are in their bedrooms or suite, unless there is a guest present. If a resident can't find their face covering, Department of Housing and Residential Life staff will give them a temporary one.

How often are common areas being cleaned?

The university website said high-touch areas in community bathrooms, lobbies, kitchens, public restrooms, study rooms and open areas will be disinfected twice daily, Monday through Friday. It said this follows CDC recommendations.

Bathrooms inside student rooms and suites will no longer be cleaned every month by staff. The website said this is in order to limit staff going into student living spaces. Staff will perform one deep cleaning of the bathrooms over winter break.


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