Colleges, students contend with finding housing solutions during pandemic

Colleges, students contend with finding housing solutions during pandemic

PROVO — Utah colleges are facing myriad issues when it comes to finding ways for students to return to their housing safely this fall while mitigating the potential spread of coronavirus in highly concentrated conditions. College housing tends to be small. Several young adults are often packed into a space together — particularly in dorms or on-campus housing, which makes social distancing difficult. Utah universities say they are aware of the issues and are striving to develop plans that will reduce some of the risks associated with living in these conditions, however some students still have concerns. “The ideas are great, the plans that they have in place I do feel confident in them. I do think that BYU is taking it seriously,” said BYU senior Jordan Hamann. “But I am concerned how the enforcement will be dealt with because you can encourage all you want, but if people decide not to follow your encouragement, I could still get sick.” Changes like reducing the number of people living inside of a unit, requiring masks, restricting visitors and implementing phased move-in dates are examples of some of the policies universities are implementing or strongly encouraging in hopes of mitigating spread of the virus. Still, as Hamann pointed out, a lot comes down to personal accountability and can differ between on-campus and off-campus housing. Many Utah colleges like the University of Utah, BYU and Utah State University all offer on-campus housing that is overseen by the university. When COVID-19 first broke out in the state and students were encouraged ...
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