Bradley University enacts two-week quarantine for all students with at least 500 in isolation

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Bradley University has issued a temporary quarantine for all students at the college starting Tuesday, Sept. 8 through Wednesday, Sept. 23.

All students will be required to quarantine in their residence hall, Greek house, St. James apartment, off-campus apartment, or house for the next two weeks. The new restrictions begin on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. — 7 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23.

This also means all classes will move to a remote learning environment. A few exceptions will be made for students who are approaching graduation.

“We have just under 50 confirmed positive cases on campus, which is comparable or even lower than some of our peer institutions,” said Bradley University President Stephen Standifird in an online statement.

“Our concern is because of these cases and clusters, as well as our rigorous quarantine protocols, we have more than 500 students in quarantine at this time. And through contact tracing, we continue to identify more students who may be impacted, which means more students in quarantine.”

Standifird said the move to temporary remote learning and a two-week, all-student quarantine lets the university focus on educational experience for students and gives them time to gather data on the full extent of the spread of the virus and assess the best way to proceed as a community.

“This two-week quarantine creates an opportunity for us to reset our behaviors so we can have a successful semester,” Standifird said.

“I still think it’s possible for us to do so. We would not engage in the two-week quarantine if I did not believe it was possible for us to complete the semester on campus successfully, but this only happens if we collectively change our behaviors moving forward.”

Stay on Campus 

“It is very important students stay put. Do not go home,” Standifird said.

“The risk of new cases increases each time you leave and return to campus. It also complicates our tracing and testing greatly. We’re asking you to remain on campus instead of returning to your permanent residence. If you do return home, you must continue to quarantine and should not return back to campus until Sept. 22 or later.”

Students wishing to move out of their residence hall are asked to wait until the end of the two-week quarantine period. If they wish to move out completely afterward, housing and meal plans will be prorated to Sept. 9.

Students must also submit a request to vpsa@bradley.edu to have classes switched to complete virtual learning. All other housing operations, including Main Street Commons, individual rental properties, fraternities, and sororities are operated by outside agencies. All questions regarding the operations of these properties should be directed to the appropriate landlord.

Housing 

All fraternity and sorority houses, apartments, off-campus houses are limited to residents only. No gatherings, parties, etc. will be tolerated. Even when at their own residence, students must wear a mask if they are outside and physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Students can leave their residences to: 

  • Pick up meals from dining facilities or Michel Student Center 
  • Spend time outside while masked
  • Run essential errands (such as medical provider visits, pharmacy, grocery store) 
  • Attend work (both on and off campus) after confirming with employer
  • Engage in off-campus learning experiences with approval of their college dean 

Students are allowed to: 

  • Order food and groceries and have them delivered 
  • Visit Health Services and Counseling Services on campus

Students are not allowed to:

  • Congregate or gather with anyone other than their roommate or off-campus residence mates
  • Have guests in their room or off-campus residence
  • Visit off-campus eating establishments, drinking establishments, or off-campus residences

Dining 

Students can still get grab-and-go meals at Geisert Dining Hall, Williams Dining Hall, Center Court, and the facilities in Michel Student Center at revised hours. Remote dining locations – Stacks, Jerry’s, and BECC will be closed. (Stacks will remain closed after the two-week shelter in place due to business levels.)

No one will be allowed to dine in as food will be on a take-out basis only. Those in isolation will still have their meals delivered to them.

Student Life

All face-to-face activities by student organizations and teams are to be held in a virtual environment only. This includes organization meetings and official (or unofficial) events.

The Markin Center and Cullom-Davis Library will be closed, but students will be able to access materials, services and offices housed in the library online. Health Services will continue to schedule appointments and Counseling Services will continue to be available virtually. 

Instructors and advisors will be available virtually during this time.

Testing

Students who test positive are still required to isolate. If a student lives on campus or is unable to isolate in their off-campus housing, Bradley University will provide alternative accommodations. Students currently in isolation who wish to return to their permanent residence must wait until their isolation period is over to do so.

Health Services will continue COVID-19 surveillance testing and symptomatic testing for students. If a student becomes symptomatic, they should contact Health Services and self-isolate until their test results are received. 

Students must take every precaution to protect the health and safety of others. If a student does an off-campus Covid-19 test, they must report the results to the Health Services at (309)-677-2700. If a student does not report a positive test, they will be at risk for disciplinary action.

“In making the decision to enact a two-week all-student quarantine, we continued to follow the science and put much thought into the well being of our campus and our students’ education,” Standifird said.  

If we do not see progress during these two weeks, it will impact the rest of the semester, potentially causing us to go remote for the rest of the calendar year. We will continue to provide updates and will make decisions about the resumption of face-to-face classes by Monday, Sept. 21.”

The university plans to host a webinar in the coming days to answer questions. Those with questions can send them to COVID19concerns@bradley.edu. More information will be released on the webinar as soon as it is finalized.  Those looking for more information can visit the university’s coronavirus website.

This developing story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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