Effective at 4 p.m. last Friday, the 93 residents of Belden Hall in Alumni housing at the University of Connecticut were placed in quarantine after an increase of COVID-19 cases in the building.
According to an announcement from the UConn Student Health and Wellness (SHaW) Medical Director, Ellyssa Eror, MD, students were first notified of a concerning upward trend of positive COVID-19 cases among Belden Hall residents last week.
“The rate of the spread has not abated and is disproportionate to the positive cases we have seen among other residential locations,” Eror said in a follow-up email to residents.
Belden Hall residents will immediately have to follow certain quarantine guidelines provided by SHaW. Students are not allowed to have any guests, and are not permitted to attend in-person classes. They will also have to participate in twice-weekly testing.
On Oct. 2, Belden Hall residents will be contacted by SHaW with an update on their quarantine status. The quarantine order will last at least 14 days, and whether or not the special guidelines are dropped depends on if there is a clear decrease in COVID-19 transmission.
According to a tweet from the university, there were six students who tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, two of whom were already in quarantine. Currently, there are 69 positive COVID-19 cases at UConn.
On Friday, the university also lifted the quarantine order on the Oaks off-campus residential complex following a significant decrease in COVID-19 transmission.
In an announcement beginning with “Dear Huskies,” Dean of Students Eleanor Daugherty and Eror thanked residents of The Oaks for their “adherence to quarantine measures.”
“More than 60% of you have come to be tested, and the most recent positive cases have been close contacts of confirmed cases of COVID-19 rather than from the general population of the Oaks. This is a significant change in the patterns of the previous two weeks,” they said.
“Although this may feel like cause for celebration,” they warned, “the risk of contracting COVID-19 is still present. Your continued success will rely on consistently wearing masks when in public.”
According to the announcement, “if widespread transmission recurs, a second quarantine period may be necessary.”
Last week, the university placed residents of Eddy Hall in Alumni housing in quarantine after four students tested positive for COVID-19. According to Dr. Eror, 80% of Eddy Hall residents have been tested in the past week, and there have been no new cases in the past three days.
“Thank you for getting tested and your commitment to decreasing the spread of COVID-19,” Eror said. “If this trend continues, we hope to lift the quarantine early next week.”