Quarantine Cottages

The Cottages Deemed Residence-Turned-Isolation Housing For The 2021-2022 Semesters


Brooke DiCicco

According to Assistant Dean of Students and member of BC’s Covid-19 task force Liz Howley, the cottages selected for isolation housing had the best bathroom layouts for quarantine purposes.

Sienna Sullivan, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – On Feb. 16, 2021, Bridgewater College Residential Life announced that the cottages would not be available for the 2021-2022 housing selection and the spaces would instead be used for quarantine/isolation in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prior to this email announcement, Daleville Hall served as the primary residence hall for students to quarantine on-campus. 

“Daleville was a good option last year because many students chose to learn remotely and we had the space to spare,” said Assistant Dean of Students Liz Howley on behalf of BC’s Covid-19 task force. “With everyone learning residentially again, we needed to designate a quarantine space that was appropriate and also didn’t take many beds offline.”

According to Howley, many of the cottages already needed to be offline and evaluated for future use, so “it made sense to use those spaces.” 

A former resident of the cottages in the Fall of 2019, senior Ryanna Powers, expressed concern about BC’s choice to use these residences as isolation rooms.

“Using the cottages to quarantine students doesn’t sound like a good idea at all since they are such small spaces,” said Powers. “I feel like that would defeat the point of separating contagious students.”

However, Assistant Director of Residence Life Ricky Reiss said that students in quarantine do not share bedrooms and the cottages provide a one-to-one ratio within each bedroom. 

According to Howley, because cottage housing space is limited and circumstances can fluctuate quickly, students who must enter quarantine are likely required to do so off-campus unless they have extenuating circumstances.

“Many students actually prefer to quarantine off-campus,” said Howley. “Working with professors to keep up with class material can happen wherever you are, so the location shouldn’t impact anything academically for a student.”

As of Oct. 15, 2021, no students were quarantined in the cottages, but having these residences as on-campus isolation options, even if unused, has proved beneficial to BC’s transition back to in-person proceedings. 

“Being able to remove the occupancy restrictions has been great in regards to our events and engagement on campus,” said Reiss.