Housing during the pandemic

<p>Erin Simons moves in during Welcome Week Aug. 18, 2018, at Woodworth Complex. This year students were asked to &nbsp;select a move in time to reduce the number of people moving in at a given time. <strong>Rebecca Slezak, DN File</strong></p>

Erin Simons moves in during Welcome Week Aug. 18, 2018, at Woodworth Complex. This year students were asked to  select a move in time to reduce the number of people moving in at a given time. Rebecca Slezak, DN File

In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Ball State Housing made some adjustments to the housing options available for students living in residence halls, according to its website and emails forwarded to residence hall students.

While students already have completed their housing forms and have been given their housing assignments, the following are a list of changes outlined by Housing for students living in residence halls at the start of the fall 2020 semester:

Moving in:

After room assignments are sent out, students will receive an email with directions to schedule an appointment, which will be available starting early August, to bring their belongings to campus, according to the Ball State website.

During their scheduled appointment time, students will receive their room key and may bring their items and place them into their assigned rooms. Housing is unable to house students until either Aug. 19 or 20 depending on the premium or standard plans.

Appointment slots will be scheduled by residence hall and will be coordinated to reduce the volume of people using common spaces at any given time.

Anyone entering a residence hall will be asked to wear a face mask as they move belongings into their rooms. Students are also asked to limit the number of personal belongings they bring to campus this year to make cleaning and disinfecting easier.

If a student is unable to utilize the appointment system, they may move in on the appropriate contract date or between Aug 21-23.

Quarantine and Isolation Accommodations

If a student is exposed to, or become sick with COVID-19, the university will work with the student to have a room on campus while self-quarantining or isolating, according to the website. Students will need to work with their health care provider to make sure that staying on campus is the best choice for them.

Quarantine housing will be provided to students who have had close contact with an individual who has had symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, and have the recommendation of the medical director of the Health Center.

Students will live in quarantine housing for 14 days, or until the director of the Health Center provides authorization to leave quarantine to ensure they have not contracted COVID-19.

Isolation housing will be provided to students who have tested positive for COVID-19. Students will be required to live in isolation housing for the period of time recommended by the CDC and until clearance is given by the Health Center to return to campus activities.

Students who need to quarantine or isolate will not be permitted to do so in their regular rooms and will be moved into specially designated space on campus for the 14-day duration.

They will have the option to move home for the quarantine or isolation period if their health care provider and family believe it is preferable. No visitors, including family members, will be permitted in quarantine or isolation housing.

If a student leaves campus and travels internationally, they are requested to quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus.

Safety practices

Apart from deep-cleaning and disinfecting all rooms prior to move-in, cleaning and disinfecting other high touch surfaces and areas and disinfecting equipment being made available in all common areas, Housing has put in place some additional practices.

While visitors to residence halls will be allowed, they will not be permitted to stay past midnight. There will be a limit of three people allowed in a residence hall room at any given time, including the resident and roommate, and visitors will not be permitted to stay overnight.

Water fountains and water bottle filling stations will be turned off. Students are encouraged to bring bottled water. Kitchenettes and some other common spaces will be closed following CDC guidelines. A complete list of common spaces that will be closed is still being finalized.

Students will be asked to wear a face mask when in any public areas of their residence hall to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

While a number of hand sanitizing stations will be available in residence halls and other campus buildings, students will be responsible for bringing personal cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, and other disinfectant products for use within their room.

Thanksgiving break

Residence halls will be closed during Thanksgiving break through the end of the fall 2020 semester, the website states.

Students returning for the spring 2021 semester will be permitted to leave their belongings in their rooms over the extended break period.

In rare circumstances, a student with compelling reasons may be permitted to stay on campus with advanced special permission of the director of Housing and Residence Life.

Plans are still being finalized for billing procedures among other things for the fall 2020 semester. Students and parents will be updated on new developments via email from Housing, on its social media page and updates posted on its FAQ website.

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