The University of Delaware has few quarantine rooms left on campus and uses local hotels to house students who are quarantined or isolated due to exposure to COVID-19.
The university began using hotels last week when the coronavirus outbreak hit record levels on campus, spokeswoman Andrea Boyle Tippett confirmed on Friday.
As of Friday, 215 students will be in isolation / quarantine, including the hotels. Another 489 are isolating or quarantining in their own homes or other private location, Tippett said.
UD has reserved certain dorm buildings as quarantine / isolation locations. Quarantine rooms are temporary accommodations for those who have had contact with people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are waiting for test results on their status. Isolation rooms are temporary accommodations for those who have tested positive for COVID-19.
For students in quarantine or isolation, the university offers food delivery, on-demand counseling services, and other amenities.
The number of COVID-19 cases skyrocketed on February 22nd, just two weeks after the spring semester began. Last week, UD reported 324 cases, the university’s worst week since the pandemic began.
So far this week, 242 cases have been reported, although there were fewer numbers on Thursday and Friday than at the start of the week.
On February 23, the university imposed stricter rules on students, including removing dining rooms, banning guests in dormitories and reducing capacity in the campus gym.
Two days later, UD officials said that if the numbers didn’t improve quickly, all classes would be moved online and students would be restricted to their dorms, with the exception of “essential activities.” Most off-campus students would be prohibited from getting on UD properties. Access to student centers and the on-campus gym would be restricted, and exercise and games would be suspended.
“We are at a crucial moment in our fight against COVID-19 at the University of Delaware,” officials wrote in an unsigned letter to the students. “With the high number of positive cases in the first two weeks of this semester, we are on the right track to quickly exceed the number in the entire fall semester.”
These stricter measures were not implemented until Friday.