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A photo taken on a floor in Sterry Hall, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, at Texas State. A rumor from a Reddit post went around on social media about Texas State allegedly placing students diagnosed with COVID-19 on the fourth floor of Sterry Hall.

After rumors about Texas State placing students diagnosed with COVID-19 on a campus dorm floor, the university responded saying it created space in dorms for students in quarantine, not those who tested positive.

An Aug. 27 Reddit post titled “Texas State is Placing COVID Positive students in my Hall” surfaced on social media from an individual claiming to be a resident assistant at Sterry Hall. The post says the Department of Housing and Residential Life “has started moving students who may have COVID onto the 4th floor of the building.”

The post claims DHRL never told residents that Sterry’s fourth floor was going to be a quarantine spot on campus until “possibly infected students were already moving in.” It goes on to say DHRL is trying to keep the situation “under-wraps,” and RAs were told not to inform residents about what was happening.

In an emailed statement to The University Star, Texas State said the following: “[We have] designated rooms on empty floors in four residence halls where residents who have no COVID-19 symptoms but are reported close contacts with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 can quarantine away from other residents.”

Texas State says, for privacy and confidentiality reasons, it will not disclose the names of the four residence halls where students would quarantine.

An individual goes into quarantine when she, he or they may have been exposed to COVID-19 but is not showing symptoms, while isolation happens when someone diagnosed is separated from others. Texas State expects the university community to self-report a COVID-19 diagnosis through its Bobcat Trace app

In an emailed FAQ from Texas State clarifying COVID-19 policies for isolation and quarantine related to residence halls, the university says “students who report a positive COVID-19 test result will not be allowed to remain in their residence halls,” and they will be asked to go home for isolation, treatment and recovery.

If students are not able to return home, they are provided with a designated isolation space in a university-owned apartment to reside until they recover, “not a residence hall.” The university says the designated isolation apartments are separate from other apartments, and when in isolation, students must remain in the designated space and avoid in-person interaction. 

Texas State’s COVID-19 dashboard shows that between Aug. 24, the first day of the fall semester, and the time this story was published, 26 total individuals — students, faculty and staff — reported testing positive for COVID-19. According to the dashboard, there have been 187 total cases reported to the university since March 1.

This is a developing story. The University Star will provide more information as it becomes available.

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