What isolation in Cobbs Hall looks like

Alexis Montgomery, Editor-in-Chief

Lindenwood students who test positive for COVID-19 and choose to stay on campus must move into Cobbs Hall, the designated isolation dorm.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 must notify the dean of students and isolate either on or off-campus. The length of isolation may vary due to a number of factors. Those who are displaying symptoms, have been exposed, or have tested positive for COVID-19, will need to complete the Initial Assessment Survey

COVID-19 Investigators will then collect information from positive students to determine other individuals who they have been in contact with for the two days before their first symptom. Contact tracing will be completed by local county health departments. Students living off-campus will be contacted by the contact tracers in their respective counties. Residential students moving into isolation will turn in their room key to the area coordinator until they are approved to return to their room, according to the Roaring Return Procedure Manual.

As of Sept. 10, 23 students are isolating on campus and 72 students are quarantining on campus. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick, while isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

If students wish to isolate on campus, they must isolate at Cobbs Hall, even if they have a house on campus, said Julee Mitsler, director of communications for Lindenwood. Mitsler added that students in isolation are one to a room for health and well-being.

Cobbs has a designated staff to make sure that students are being safe and following protocol, Mitsler said.

“Lindenwood also partners with BarnesCare, a division of BJC Medical Group, and students in isolation receive daily health visits in their isolation room from a trained medical provider,” Mistler said.

Students who are COVID-19 positive and remain on campus in isolation housing will receive daily medical care from BarnesCare, a division of BJC Medical Group, at a cost of $12-per-day. These charges will be placed on the student’s billing ledger, according to the Roaring Return Procedure Manual. If a student does not consent to the $12-per-day charge for medical care, they must isolate off-campus. 

As for how students receive meals while in isolation, Mitsler said if students are in quarantine or isolation on campus and have notified the dean of students office, meals are delivered to their rooms. 

COVID-19 cases continue to rise on campus, but Lindenwood has backup plans if students exceed the 115 designated isolation beds for COVID-19. 

“Lindenwood continues to monitor the situation and make decisions in the best interests of all students on campus,” Mitsler said. “There are additional plans in place should the university need to enact further actions.”

A student who is isolating in Cobbs Hall, who wishes to remain anonymous, spoke to Lindenlink about his experience so far.

“My test results came back positive yesterday, Wednesday, so I emailed the dean of students and from there they had me set up a check-in time with the people here at Cobbs,” he said in a text message. “Since my symptoms started on Tuesday I have to remain here until 10 days after then.” 

“I had the option to isolate off campus but if you exercise that option you have to be cleared by a doctor before you can return, which is taken care of for you at Cobbs via something called the BJC Home Monitoring Program.”

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, and fatigue, but the student said his current symptoms feel like a common cold with a slightly sore throat. 

The student has a room to himself with a bathroom and was allowed to bring a television, water, snacks, etc., but he must provide his own toiletries and paper products. 

As for food delivery, the student said food is delivered to his door three times a day, and twice a day on weekends. 

“We don’t get to choose what we eat so it’s typically pretty basic stuff, sandwich, chips and a water bottle, or a basic Evans dinner,” he said.

The student is still attending online classes and is finding ways to stay entertained while in isolation.  

“I brought my PlayStation with me so I’ve got that to keep me sane,” he said.

During his time in isolation so far, the student said he has yet to be contacted by BJC.

“There’s no real monitoring going on by the staff here, although we do have a number to call in case we need something like water if there’s an emergency,” he said. “Supposedly BJC is supposed to be checking in with me soon, but I have yet to receive a call.”

The student’s isolation period should end 10 days after he began exhibiting symptoms. 

“I have to stay here until 10 days after my symptoms started, which for me will be the 19th,” he said. “Obviously if I still have symptoms at that point they will keep me until they subside.”