Student Quarantine Feedback Results in BC Community Volunteers

‘Quaranteams’ Created to Help Fight Loneliness, Ensure Care

Daleville+Hall

Photo by Morgan Pangle

Daleville Hall is one of two locations in which students who must quarantine on campus stay. All rooms in this building are reserved entirely for COVID-19 quarantine space.

Brooke DiCicco, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – With the college regulations in place to combat COVID-19, students are being placed in Daleville Hall and the Crimson Inn to quarantine if they exhibit symptoms of the virus or come in close contact with the virus. 

The reported loneliness during quarantine inspired the creation of  “quaranteams” to connect with students in quarantine or isolation. Associate Dean of Students and Psychologist Neal Rittenhouse is part of the campus staff who supports the quaranteams

“The idea was born from feedback from our students and consultation with other colleges and universities who have all been working hard to prevent the spread of COVID-19 without sacrificing the mental health needs of the students who must isolate,” said Rittenhouse. “The Department of Student Life organized a network of College volunteers to participate in this effort.”

Students are asked if they can return home to quarantine if they are able based on the college’s COVID FAQs. However, for some students, they live too far away to return home or they have family at home who are immunocompromised. Students must submit a formal request to stay in isolation on campus, in order to prevent spread to others if they cannot go home.

In quarantine housing, students are provided with food and water in a room with an on-suite bathroom. Once students meet the requirements to leave quarantine, they must receive an approval to return to campus.

“I, unlike others I heard, was well-fed and provided with a lot of water,” said a BC student in on-campus quarantine who asked not to be identified. “A couple things that bothered me were no one ever checked in on me or asked how I was and that there wasn’t a trash can in my room or trash removal option. Food and trash would sit in there until I would put my mask on and walk it out to the trash in the lobby area, which I felt guilty about doing, but there was no one around for me to ask if it was okay to do or what I should do instead.”

“The last thing we want is for our students to feel punished or otherwise unfairly isolated because of viral spread,”said Rittenhouse. “This is one small but important effort at keeping those students connected, helping them cope, and maintain positive physical and mental health.” 

BC requires a daily “self-check” before students can enter a building on campus using an app called “LiveSafe.” The app guides the user through a series of standard health questions. Any on-campus event also checks to see if the student has completed the questionnaire before they are allowed to participate.