University Updates COVID Procedures


Graydon Paul

Students can receive resources from the counseling center.

Lauren Armstrong, Staff Writer

“You have Covid” are the words nobody has wanted to hear since March of 2020, and now almost three years later, this phrase is as prevalent as ever. Since returning back from winter break, there has been another on campus outbreak of the virus, and mass amounts of students are being instructed to quarantine all at once. But where will all these students go? In past semesters, the obvious answer would be the Fairfield Inn in Broomall, or the “Covid hotel”, yet it was revealed to students this semester that the school will no longer be providing rooms in the hotel to students. Those sick have been left with two options: either go home or spend their isolation in the student health center. 

For students who live out of state, or even more than a few hours away, going home is essentially an impossible option. Underclassmen would need their parents to drop everything to make the round trip and for upperclassmen it is unsafe to drive far distances, nonetheless while sick. But with the increase of cases on campus, and the limited amount of rooms in the health center, students are stuck without another option. 

Upon arrival at the student health center, it is revealed to students that not only will they be staying in this room for upwards of six days, but they will be assigned a roommate, or possibly more than one, for the duration of their stay. This has raised concern in students, who assumed they would be isolating by themselves in order to get better and to not get others sick. Yet, is it possible to get better while isolating with someone who is just as sick as you are? Why did the school get rid of the single rooms at the Fairfield Inn? These are questions that students want answered and they all raise extremely valid concerns during this on campus peak of the pandemic. 

Students affected by the school’s decision are not pleased. A student, who would like to stay anonymous, stayed in her dorm while in isolation without a roommate present. 

“I felt worried when I went into common spaces, particularly the bathroom, since I didn’t want to get others sick,” the student said. “It is not feasible to wear a mask when brushing your teeth or taking a shower.” 

She was not happy while in quarantine and believed “our university should have done a better job preparing for the outbreak, as it makes sense that there would be an outbreak while everyone is traveling back to campus from a variety of places. I was not given an option other than staying in my dorm or traveling back home, which for students who live further away is not possible. I think the school should have kept the hotel as an option for students who need it.”

Freshman Marie Loroz had to isolate in her dorm in Stanford Hall, while her roommate was present in the room. 

“[I] was constantly anxious about the different ways in which I was forced to interact and possibly expose others to Covid,” she said. “I had no other choice than to continue to use the communal bathrooms, but I hated feeling like I was putting others on my wing at risk. The school’s solution was to ‘wipe off anything I touched’ but that seemed inadequate to me.”  

On Friday, January 27, 2023, an email from Kathleen J. Byrnes, the Vice President for Student Life, was sent to students. In this email, Byrnes addressed the new guidelines regarding on campus isolation. In the email she stated that it is allowed for students who are remaining in their assigned dorm rooms to “retrieve grab and go meals from the dining hall.” 

Loroz was not happy with her isolation situation.

“Isolation in my dorm made me very uncomfortable, especially when the school informed me that it was okay to leave my room in order to go into the campus dining halls to receive food,” she said. “Even while wearing a mask and grabbing food to go, allowing students who are actively sick with Covid to enter the most crowded buildings on campus is ridiculous to me.” 

Luckily, Loroz’s close friends were willing to drop off food to her room, yet she believes the school should have formed a system to deliver food to students who were isolated in their own dorm, in order to contain the spread of the virus. 

Freshman Betty Dorsey was concerned about mixing students who have Covid with

others who do not.

“I think it is kind of concerning that there are students who actively have covid and are in the dining hall at the same time as everyone else,” she said. “Of course, wearing a mask does help, but Villanova truly should have a better system for providing meals for those who are sick. Especially in order to stop the spread of this virus on campus and decrease exposure.” 

Overall, Villanova’s response to the newest on campus outbreak has not been positively received and, with an increase of students getting sick every day, students are asking the school to do better.