For many universities and college institutions, what the future looked like for welcoming students back on campuses this fall was unclear.
However, UT Chancellor Donde Plowman has made it her duty to keep students on campus this fall — with hopes of a safe return to follow for the spring semester.
Plowman, along with other members of faculty and staff, is taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of students on campus with confirmed cases or those who may have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, most students are enrolled completely online for the fall semester, but some students are still having to meet on campus for classes that cannot be taught online or in a hybrid style.
Students who live on campus have been left worried about what could happen if they test positive for the coronavirus. Whereas, returning home in the fall is not always an option for students attending college out of state.
With the help of students sharing their experiences on the r/UTK Reddit page and on other social media platforms, many of them have found comfort in knowing that UT is doing a great job by providing accommodations for students, ensuring a safe recovery.
Jake Ludwig, sophomore business major, shared his situation when contracting the coronavirus.
“Having COVID while being a student during these times has not changed much for me. My classes are all online, so I have still had to attend class everyday while putting up with side effects from COVID-19. The worst of my struggles come when I want something to eat, but I am quarantined to just my dorm room,” Ludwig said.
It is very important to know when to self-isolate and how to do so the proper way. For most self-isolating, it will be a lot like Jake’s experience if they live in UT housing. Students will be conformed to their dorm room for the 14-day stretch, and it is important that they make sure to have all the necessary accommodations available in their room.
Seven Swain, senior journalism and electronic media major, offered what she experienced while in self-isolation.
“I recently spent time in self-isolation in quarantine. My experience was not bad at all. This time actually gave me something to do, being that I couldn’t go out,” Swain said.
“My professors were very helpful when keeping me updated and in the loop with class work. A UT employee even reached out and asked me if I needed anything. As far as the virus itself, it was exhausting just like the flu. It could have been worse if I had preexisting breathing conditions.”
If you are a student living in university housing and have tested positive or have come into close contact with someone who has, there are many options when coordinating self-isolation to allow for a speedy recovery for you, as well as to prevent the spread to those around you.
Students and staff are expected to keep in contact with local health authorities as well as the university’s tracing team to keep them updated on their current health conditions. This is vital in slowing the spread of COVID-19 here on campus.
If students have any questions regarding COVID-19 updates as well as steps to take when feeling sick or unsure if they may have the coronavirus, Chancellor Plowman regularly provides updates that can be found here.