Taylor Hall resident contracts COVID-19

On March 31, the university confirmed that a student who previously resided on campus tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the university, the student resided in Taylor Hall during the 2019-2020 school year. However, it is believed that the student has not been on campus since March 21, and he or she was not on campus when they were tested. 

In a statement, the university expressed that the news is concerning to the campus community but was expected due to the increasing number of cases and rapid spread in the state. 

“The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff was and remains our primary concern,” stated the university in an email to students and faculty.

Mike Rivault, senior director of university marketing and communications, elaborated on safety measures that are being implemented in light of this news. 

“It is vital that we minimize the on-campus population so that as little person-to-person contact occurs,” said Rivault. “This is the reason Southeastern so quickly went to online learning, remote working and urging students to move off-campus. We continue to encourage students who can move off campus to do so.”

Though the university has transitioned to remote delivery of classes, and most on-campus buildings and offices have closed, campus remains open at this time. Several students are still living in residence halls on campus, including Taylor Hall. 

Rivault explained that the university has given additional accommodations to students who are residing in Taylor Hall. 

“We sent a care package and specific instructions regarding their situation,” shared Rivault. “We continue to urge those in other residence halls to maintain social distancing efforts, follow the basic cleanliness safety rules and still consider moving off-campus.”

Current residents of Taylor Hall were also under self-quarantine from March 21 to April 4. These students were advised to take additional precautions in a statement from University Housing.

Instructions included refraining from visiting any public facilities and making use of supplies provided in their care packages, including thermometers, gloves and masks.

“If you must go out or need to get some air and/or exercise, take advantage of the gloves and mask provided in your care package and maintain a distance of six feet from others at all times,” advised Housing. “Monitor your symptoms, including fever, cough or difficulty breathing.”

Quarantined students also had the option of receiving meals delivered to their rooms. 

Andrea Peevy, director of the University Health Center, said that she is personally checking in on each student that resides in Taylor Hall. 

“I am communicating with each student daily to check in, answer any questions and make sure they are healthy,” stated Peevy.

Residents at home that could have been in the building on or before March 21 were also advised by University Housing to self-quarantine for 14 days and to take action immediately if they experienced any symptoms of coronavirus.

In the instance that another student residing on campus becomes infected with COVID-19, Peevy claims prompt actions will be taken to ensure the safety of that student and others.

“Our main concern will be to get any student the medical care they need and to prevent the spread to others,” described Peevy. “We will follow all CDC guidelines and recommendations from the LDH. Any infections or potential exposures will be evaluated on a case by case basis and the appropriate action will be taken.”