COVID-19 quarantine in Bayliss Hall

Devin Brooks, NEWS3 Reporter

MACOMB, Ill. (NEWS 3) — Bayliss Hall was once the home of freshman students at Western Illinois University. It is now housing students who have tested positive or have come in contact with the Coronavirus.

Students who test positive will receive a call from the Beu Health Center and will then be put in touch with a designated case leader. This case leader will start the process of contact tracing with the student and will help with getting the student ready to be moved into Bayliss Hall.

The university has the residence hall set up for students to either be put in isolation or quarantine.

“Isolation is if you tested positive or you are symptomatic,” Executive Director of Auxiliary Services and Risk Management Joe Roselieb said. “Quarantine is when we believe you have been in direct contact, but you have no symptoms.”

Any student who is in Bayliss Hall and is in quarantine or isolation is not allowed to leave the floor where they are placed. They may leave their room to use the restrooms and take showers, but they must wear their masks when walking in the floor’s hallways.

Roselieb said students are also not allowed to visit other students’ rooms who may be on the same floor as them.

Two meals are brought to the residence hall every day and are provided by the university’s dining service, Sodexo. Students will order their meals online a day in advance, and the food will be brought to their room.

The university is also looking for ways to keep those who are in quarantine and isolation entertained during their stay. The university’s recreation center has started an online yoga class so that students can have some sort of physical activity while they’re stuck in their rooms.

Roselieb said a concert outside of the residence hall is in the works so students will have something to watch and listen to.

Although the university is offering these things along with wellness checks, April Goetz, a WIU senior who spent the earlier part of this month in quarantine, said it was not easy for her.

“It was difficult at first,” Goetz said. “I know when I went there I was calling up my dad and calling up my mom.”

Goetz passed the time by playing her ukulele and FaceTiming her cross country teammates.

“Just to have that support and to have that friendship together, even though we couldn’t see each other, we saw each other only through FaceTime and Snapchat and texting. It went well,” Goetz said.

The staff in Bayliss Hall will continue thoroughly disinfecting the bathrooms, showers and rooms. They will also continue their contact tracing to help slow the spread and keep the students and faculty on campus safe.

“I don’t think anybody truly understands how much time that people are taking out from their normal jobs to get this through,” Roselieb said. “You know that’s what we have to do to get through this.”

Anyone who wants more information about the process of quarantining and isolation on campus should visit wiu.edu/returntocampus.