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On- and off-campus housing areas around BYU are making plans for Fall Semester, and that includes a quarantine plan if someone contracts COVID-19. Most housing areas will ask the sick student and all of their roommates to quarantine, but what about in dorms with shared bathrooms and kitchen areas?
Helaman Halls has several buildings with about thirty people living in each hall who all share one communal bathroom. Each building also has a kitchen in the basement that all residents of the building can use.
Information on the BYU coronavirus update page states that residents living in the same apartment or dorm will be considered a household, and every member of a household is required to isolate themselves if someone tests positive for COVID-19.
In an email exchange with the Daily Universe, BYU Residence Life clarified that each situation will be reviewed individually and that residents who test positive may have the option of moving to a different location that is more conducive to isolation.
Only roommates will be required to quarantine if someone tests positive. The other residents on the floor will continue as normal.
When asked how shared areas like bathrooms will be regulated to reduce contact, Residence Life simply stated that residents are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines and instructions from medical professionals for quarantining.
“Practicing social distance, wearing a mask when feasible, sanitizing the living space regularly and washing hands will be crucial in shared environments,” BYU Residence Life said in an email.
The Cannon Center, where many students living at Helaman halls regularly eat, will still provide food during the breakfast, lunch and dinner hours, but it will be closed in between mealtimes. All meals will be prepared to go but there will also be limited seating available, according to the BYU dining website.
The Cannon Center also allows those living in the dorms to have their meals picked up by a friend if they’re feeling sick, but this must be arranged through their RA or hall advisor.