Florida Southern College is one of many colleges who established a quarantine facility on campus to house students who were exposed to or contracted COVID-19 and as the semester continues, the Lake Morton apartment complex is growing in occupancy.
Allison Naglieri is a sophomore at FSC who began self-quarantining when she was exposed to COVID-19 at the end of September. Naglieri immediately informed her professors of her impending absence because she knew she had to quarantine for the required time to ensure she did not spread the virus.
“When I found out I had been exposed to someone who tested positive, I knew I was going to quarantine myself regardless of what the school wanted me to do,” Naglieri said. “So, I started self-quarantining and I started notifying my professors which is how I think the school knew I had been exposed.”
“If the student self-identifies symptoms or reports known contact with a positive case, the student will leave the class and be directed to contact the FSC Student Health Center,” said Mike Crawford, Dean of Students. “The student will then follow the directions given by the Student Health Center.”
Naglieri, an out of state student, tested positive shortly after being exposed and received a call from Mike Crawford to inform her that she would need to move to school-regulated quarantine.Though she was asymptomatic at the time of her quarantine, she began experiencing symptoms shortly after being exposed. Naglieri says she experienced worse symptoms from other illnesses in the past, however, her experience of COVID caused seemingly irregular side-effects.
“I was exhausted. I couldn’t sit up for more than an hour,” Naglieri said. “The thing that kind of got me started with symptoms was the weird scratchy throat feeling and congestion. Then, I had weird symptoms. My face was kind of swollen. A lot of weird random things. It wasn’t too bad and it didn’t last too long which is good.”
Naglieri describes her experience in the school’s regulated quarantine as “secluded,” but she was well taken care of. Naglieri says FSC always remembered to keep up with providing meals. FSC provides quarantined students with a list of options from the cafeteria that are later delivered to the individual’s front door.
“It came at the same time everyday. I’m a vegetarian so at first they only gave me options with meat in it, but they were super understanding and gave me a few options. It really wasn’t that bad,” Naglieri said.
Though meals were consistently provided, Nalgeri advises students to come prepared when entering quarantine. She admits the apartments lack many basic necessities, more specifically hand soap.
“You need to bring all of your own stuff. Your own comforter, your own body wash, your own soap. They gave me a little baggie of stuff. But the shampoo and conditioner would’ve lasted me a day,” Nalgeri said. “Especially if you don’t like the [cafeteria] food and stuff they’ll give you, stock up on snacks and bring everything you could possibly need because it’s probably not going to be provided to you.”
Quarantine in the Lake Morton apartments is supervised by the college to monitor the safety and wellbeing of sick students.
“Safety has a constant presence at Lake Morton and we continue to expect the student body to be responsible in supporting the health and wellness of our campus community,” says Crawford. “The Community Living staff are managing the facilities and onsite on a daily basis as well.”
Naglieri says staff never specified any specific rules while in quarantine, leaving students to assume what can and cannot be done.
“I don’t know if they ever explicitly said you can’t leave or anything. I just [assumed] I had to stay in the room. I have heard from other people who are there now or know people who were in there that you aren’t allowed to have people drop things off anymore,” said Naglieri. “I think they’re developing more rules the more people that are there.”
Crawford says students are allowed to drop off items for friends in quarantine, “as they are following all campus COVID protocols and do not enter the buildings.”
Naglieri was released from quarantine a little over a week after being exposed and after she finished experiencing symptoms of the virus. Once she returned to her normal living space, she was instructed to return to in-person instruction and resume activities. Naglieri says she did not have to retest before returning to campus due to the CDC’s guidelines stating “You can be around others after: 10 days since symptoms first appeared, 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.”
If a student is exposed to, and experiences symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, they are instructed to contact 863.680.4305 for information regarding quarantine. Students who test positive are given the options of quarantining at home, in a hotel, or in the college-supervised quarantine spaces, Lake Morton Apartments or Ledger Apartments.