Testing positive for COVID-19 is stressful and worrisome in itself, so it is important to know what to pack for isolation or quarantine before it can become an actual necessity.
Students who had to quarantine or isolate in University of Richmond facilities said they had been given approximately 30 minutes to pack before they moved into Keller Hall or one of the modular isolation units.
UR has installed modular units on campus to isolate those who test positive for COVID-19 and quarantine those who are close contacts of positive cases. These units are located in parking lots around campus. Additionally, students can quarantine or isolate in Keller Hall. The modular units and Keller rooms have internet access and a television to allow students to continue attending classes virtually and providing a form of entertainment, according to UR's website.
Overall, UR students who have been quarantined suggested that the most important things to bring are items to make your bed more comfortable, snacks and items to keep you entertained.
Senior Emily Whitt quarantined in Keller at the beginning of last September for six days, Whitt said. Whitt had to quarantine after experiencing potential symptoms and requesting a test, rather than being exposed to anyone with the virus, she said.
Whitt was given 30 minutes to pack her essentials and move into Keller, she said. Whitt said the beds in Keller came with thin sheets and suggested bringing your own bedding into isolation.
"The sheets they give you are paper, doctor sheets,” Whitt said.
Whitt said she had a roommate bring her more items after she was put in quarantine.
Senior Andrew McCollough quarantined for 10 days in Keller after being identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19. McCollough also said it was important to bring sheets, blankets and a pillow. He had not brought much to Keller other than his schoolwork and items to make his bed more comfortable, he said.
Another thing that Whitt and McCollough both found important was bringing enough entertainment, they said.
Junior Nina VanAtta quarantined twice throughout the semester, she said, and like Whitt and McCollough, advised those who have to quarantine to bring things to stay entertained.
Although the quarantine pods have televisions, the televisions do not always work or require a specific program, VanAtta said.
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“The first time [in quarantine] the TV didn’t even have anything except if you brought your video games,” VanAtta said.
She also said it was important to bring snacks and food that will stay good throughout the week. UR provides all meals at one time during the day, requiring students to reheat meals. VanAtta ended up not wanting to eat the food most days because it would become mushy after being reheated, she said.
If you find yourself being placed in isolation or quarantine, prepare for a long stay, because isolation and quarantine can range from just a few days to two weeks.
Contact lifestyle writer Lucia Helmers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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