A university is asking its entire student body to go into quarantine for two weeks following an outbreak of COVID-19. Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois made the announcement after confirming dozens of cases and hundreds already in quarantine. Now, the university is extending the lockdown to its entire population of nearly 6,000 students.
University President Stephen Standifird announced the quarantine in a September 8 communication with the student body. The president said that, while Bradley has had success in identifying and isolating 50 COVID cases, some students are still allowing its spread by ignoring safety guidelines.
“While most of you are doing the right things, I am particularly concerned about the lack of compliance regarding the necessary behaviors to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus,” said Sandifird. “We are seeing both large and small gatherings where masks and physical distancing are not observed. Many of our positive cases can be traced back to these gatherings.”
While 500 students were already under quarantine, the move extends the measure to apply to all of the school’s roughly 5,900 students.
Standifird said he hopes the two-week quarantine will provide a second chance for students to learn and practice safe behaviors on campus.
“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,” he said.
A University Under Quarantine
As part of the quarantine, Bradley asks students not to leave campus for two weeks. Greek houses, apartments, and off-campus houses must limit themselves only to residents of the house. Dining will switch to all-takeout, with delivery options for those in isolation. Classes will move entirely online, while student activities must be held remotely.
Standifird made clear that the policy was not a recommendation, but mandatory. “We will take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from campus, of anyone who violates these policies,” he said.
The quarantine went into effect on Tuesday, September 8 at 8 pm. It’s set to continue through 7 am on Wednesday, September 23.
“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.”