By Rylan Bassett
Denton Hall was placed under stricter quarantine regulations on Sept. 18, after the dorm reported 23 positive COVID-19 cases, and is expected to normalize on Oct. 2, according to a university statement.
The positive individuals were moved to isolation housing, and nine students marked as close contacts were moved to quarantine. Denton residents not flagged as quarantine-bound were notified of the situation by email on the 18th. They were asked to decide by 5 p.m. whether to stay in the hall or return to their permanent residence for the following 2 weeks.
Freshman communications major and Denton resident Leah Paliakas said the email spurred a “mad dash” for students to figure out what to do. Paliakas opted to stay in the hall because her permanent home is in Chicago.
“I could either Zoom from home, or I could Zoom from my dorm room,” says Paliakas, “and I figured I’d just stay here to not get myself out of the whole college routine.”
Freshman government and politics major and Denton resident Nitya Shah also elected to stay in the hall.
“I didn’t want to risk it with my family,” he said, “because if I had it, I didn’t want to go home and give it to my family.”
The original email to Denton residents says, “The Department of Dining Services will deliver breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day so you will not need to leave your residence hall for food.” That decision was reversed on Sept. 20 when all North Campus residents received notice of adjusted service hours for 251 North. During a 1-hour period for each meal time, 251 North is reserved for students “participating in advanced health precautions.”
Shah says the worst part of Denton’s changes was the food being delivered, and he prefers being permitted at 251 during designated times.
Paliakas says the amount of food being delivered was inconsistent with the number of students still on her floor. Due to the surplus food being thrown away, she says the system had to change.
All COVID-19 regulations are still expected to return to normal on Oct. 2.