Coronavirus, News

CSULB forces housing students to quarantine after on-campus residents test positive for COVID-19

Students residing in Parkside College have been forced to quarantine for two weeks after five Long Beach State students initially tested positive for the coronavirus. There are now 11 on-campus residents who have tested positive and 12 off campus, bringing the total to 23 cases among CSULB students.

The mandatory shelter-in-place order is scheduled to end on Oct. 9, according to on-campus residents.

All cases have been traced to off-campus gatherings. There has been no evidence that anyone in the resident halls have passed on the illness to fellow residents at this time,” said Corry Colonna, director of Housing and Residential Life. 

On-campus residents have their meals delivered outside their rooms in Parkside College in a no-contact method to uphold health and safety regulations, Sept. 26, 2020. Julia Terbeche/Daily Forty-Niner

While in quarantine, housing residents are under strict regulations and can only leave their room for essential reasons, such as food pickup, medical emergencies or to use the restroom. 

Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been relocated from Parkside to Hillside College. 

This includes Haylie Prochnow, a first-year theatre arts major.

Living across the hall, Prochnow came in direct contact with the five residents who first tested positive for the virus. Now that she’s in isolation, Prochnow said she knows that she has to quarantine to protect other housing students.

“It’s really boring and hot to stay in your room all day, but in the end it’s protecting other people, and my ability to care for the well-being of others is what gets me through it,” Prochnow said. 

The university has set up testing site on campus which is currently testing students who are displaying symptoms or who have come in contact with positive cases. Photo courtesy of Nick Eismann

Prochnow said her first COVID-19 test came back positive and, although her second test came back negative, she remains quarantined in Hillside College. 

“They said they trusted the positive test more and that it’s more likely that I got a false negative than a false positive,” Prochnow said. “It was just precautionary and I’m fine with it.” 

Residents who tested negative are allowed to stay in their rooms in Parkside. 

Residents who tested positive or are deemed at risk for contracting COVID-19 have been relocated to Parkside College from Hillside. Photo courtesy of Haylie Prochnow

Joaquin Alonzo, a third-year computer science major, said he wasn’t looking forward to staying in his dorm room for the majority of the day. Although he tested negative, he remains in quarantine for the two-week period.

“It’s a bit irritating I guess,” Alonzo said. “Certain days I used to go out to the store to restock but right now for me I’m actually running out of water. I typically drink about seven or eight bottles a day.  For now, I’m just resorting to just getting waters from the meals they give us.”

Instead of visiting the dining hall, residents now obtain their meals from the Parkside College common room at select pickup times. Housing officials send residents an email that includes meal options, from which residents place their orders.

In effort to maintain social distancing standards, residents were given personal signs to indicate when the bathroom is being occupied.

Long Beach State residential students are in a two-week isolation period in on-campus housing following an on-campus outbreak of the coronavirus. Photo courtesy of Haylie Prochnow

”We have to, on our own, be precautious,” Alonzo said. “Where [my room is] at, it’s really not that bad. I’m typically alone whenever I go in [the restroom]” 

Even with the shelter-in-place orders, Alonzo said he is planning to stay in the dorms through the spring semester. 

“I really don’t like living back at home,” he said. “It’s too crowded there, many of my family members are there, I really couldn’t focus on school.” 

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Number of COVID-19 cases in Long Beach


Number of COVID-19 deaths in Long Beach


What to know about COVID-19

Common symptoms:

● Cough                   ● Fever

● Tiredness            ● Shortness of breath

● Chills                      ● Shaking

● Loss of taste      ● Loss of smell

● Muscle pain        ● Headache

● Sore throat

Symptoms can begin to present one to 14 days after initial exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

How is it transmitted?

● Close contact with someone, such as shaking hands or hugging.

● Contact with droplets from a sneeze or cough.

● Touching of eyes, mouth or nose with dirty hands.

Are you at risk?

● Have you traveled to an affected area within the past two weeks?

● Have you had close contact with someone who is infected?

If yes to either, and you begin to present symptoms, call your doctor and ask to be tested. 

Prevention:

There is currently no treatment for COVID-19, but the CDC recommends measures to contain the spread of the virus.

● Self-isolate; avoid contact with others including pets; only leave your house for food or medical attention.

● Wear a face mask.

● Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds; sanitizer must contain over 60% alcohol to be effective.

● Clean “high-touch” areas every day.  

● Maintain a six-foot distance from other individuals; abide by “social distancing” recommendations. 

● Avoid gatherings with more than nine people. 

 Alert health officials if you think you have COVID-19; monitor your symptoms.


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