Multiple undergraduate students living in Hartley Hall have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an email from Dean Kromm and Columbia Health Medical Director Bernitz today.
Several Columbia undergraduates living in Hartley Hall have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an email from Dean Kromm to Hartley residents earlier today. Dean Kromm told students that if the COVID-19 outbreak in Hartley does not decrease, all Hartley residents will be placed under a quarantine that will last a minimum of ten days to control the spread of the virus, according to the email. The full text of the email is provided at the end of the article.
Currently, only students who tested positive for COVID-19 and those deemed close contacts—including those living in a suite with a COVID-positive person—must quarantine; however, if the cases in Hartley continue to increase, all residents will be placed under quarantine. Dean Kromm did not specify by what date cases would have to decrease in order to avoid the entire building being placed under quarantine.
Initial contact tracing indicates that the cases are related to “social interactions within the Hartley residence hall that are out of compliance with the Columbia Health Compact.” Dean Kromm reminded students that signing the compact means that students have agreed to comply with public health guidance, urging students to protect the health of the community.
Email from Dean Kromm and Columbia Health Medical Director Bernitz, sent at 3:30 pm:
Dear Hartley residents:
We are writing to make you aware that we have received confirmation that multiple undergraduates living in Hartley Hall have been diagnosed with Covid-19. These individuals have received appropriate medical evaluation and support. Contact tracing has been initiated, and all those deemed as close contacts (within 6 feet for over 10 minutes in a single instance, or within 6 feet for over a cumulative time of 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period, and those living within the same suite) will be notified and given instructions on quarantine, testing, and other follow up. Contact tracing is typically completed within 72 hours.
Initial contact tracing suggests that these cases may be related to social interactions within the Hartley residence hall that are out of compliance with the Columbia Health Compact. In signing the Compact, you agreed to, and must comply with all public health guidance, which includes wearing face coverings, practicing physical distancing, even within your suite, ensuring frequent hand washing, and getting tested twice weekly. Although we understand your interest in connecting with others, for the health of our community, we urge you to follow all outlined guidance.
If, together, we are unable to limit the spread of Covid-19 in Hartley Hall through these measures, we may need to implement stronger measures including immediate and building-wide quarantine for the health and safety of the Hartley residents and campus community. This would mean that all building residents must stay in their room for a minimum 10-day period until the spread of infection is controlled.
Please make sure you schedule and attend your Friday Covid-19 test and continue to test twice-weekly throughout the remainder of the term.
Thank you for helping to keep our residence hall communities safe.
Melanie J. Bernitz
Senior Vice President and Medical Director, Columbia Health
Dean of Undergraduate Student Life
Hartley via Bwog Archives