BYU placing COVID-19 infected students in isolation housing

The new on-campus housing of Heritage Halls allows students to live in apartment style housing while still being on campus. (Preston Crawley)

Coronavirus cases continue to climb at Brigham Young University, and campus administration is holding some infected students in isolation in the Heritage Halls on campus housing.

Since the new semester started, the total number of cases at BYU has jumped to more than 1,000. As the school scrambles to control the outbreak, some infected students living in on-campus housing have been moved to the freshman dorms to wait out their sickness.

One of those students is new freshman Julia Jerman, whose first semester has already been anything but normal. “I tested positive with corona,” she laughs. “At the peak, I was coughing all day.”

Jerman is now living in isolation. She’s been stuck inside for five days and has three more left. Jerman is quarantined with two other students who have also tested positive, and she says they can’t leave their apartment.

Groceries have to be ordered online, or meals and food are delivered to the door using a meal plan. Despite the inconvenience, Jerman says it hasn’t been all bad.

“I’ve actually been pretty good,” says Jerman. “It’s given me time to focus and get ahead of my schoolwork and just stay busy.”

But not everyone is having a good experience.

Tyler Bannon, a freshman studying construction management, is in isolation at the BYU Aspen Grove campground. “To be honest, it’s kind of like a prison. The only interaction we have is when they text us to tell us the food is outside the door. We’re not really allowed to leave at all,” says Bannon.

Bannon says there are only two other people quarantined in the same area as him. “Being in isolation sucks,” says Bannon. “Do all you can to avoid doing this.”

The recent rise in cases has campus leaders worried, and BYU says if the number of new cases doesn’t start to go down, campus might have to shut down again.

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