Temple sets up isolation rooms in Johnson and Hardwick halls

Students who test positive for COVID-19 can quarantine in Johnson and Hardwick halls.

Temple students who test positive for COVID-19 have the option of quarantining in Johnson and Hardwick Halls, which have been turned into isolation housing. | FERNANDO GAXIOLA / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Five Temple University students who tested positive for COVID-19 are isolating inside Johnson and Hardwick Halls, which has been set up as quarantine and isolation housing, said Marjorie Cook, assistant director of residential life. 

Sixty-nine students have lived inside Johnson and Hardwick halls to isolate after testing positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the semester, Cook said. 

Any Temple student who tests positive for COVID-19, whether they live on or off campus, has the option of quarantining at home or temporarily living in Johnson and Hardwick halls, the university’s dedicated isolation housing for at least 10 days, said Olan Garrett, director of residential life.

Temple has 54 active cases of COVID-19 among students on campus as of Oct. 5, The Temple News reported

Student Health Services or other facilities where students get tested notify the university when they record a positive test result from a student, Cook said. 

University Housing and Residential Life staff then contact the student about quarantining at Johnson and Hardwick halls and tell them what to bring. 

Another staff member places a rolling cart outside the student’s door and helps them move their belongings, Garrett said. 

“Students are recommended to bring anything that they will need to make their stay comfortable while they’re in Johnson and Hardwick,” Cook said. “That includes all of their bedding, their sheets, pillows, toiletries, clothing. Students can even bring TVs and video games.”

Once a student has completed the isolation period, University Housing and Residential Life receives clearance from Student Health Services that the student is ready to leave. The student receives information about returning the room key and packing their belongings, Cook said. 

Temple opened up Johnson and Hardwick halls to off-campus students as well at the beginning of the semester at the request of the city, Garrett said. 

“It has been rare that off campus students have taken us up on that,” he added. “We have had a couple.”

Temple chose Johnson and Hardwick halls for quarantine and isolation housing because it has communal bathrooms, after the Philadelphia Department of Public Health recommended Temple use 10 percent of its housing for students to quarantine and isolate, Garrett said.

Students who were assigned to live in Johnson and Hardwick halls at the beginning of the semester were reassigned to other residence halls or apartment complexes, The Temple News reported.

Staff from the Dean of Students Office and University Housing and Residential Life, including Cook, check on students living in Johnson and Hardwick halls daily, and students submit daily health screenings to the Student Health Services online health website, Garrett said. 

The University Housing leadership team coordinates logistics for students who need to go into isolation housing, including notifying students that they need to move to isolation housing, communicating with students and finding them a room in Johnson and Hardwick halls, Cook said.

Temple assigns students who choose to use Johnson and Hardwick halls to rooms that limit contact in communal bathrooms and places minifridges in rooms to avoid communal kitchen use, Garrett said. 

Johnson and Hardwick halls do not use resident assistants. Instead, professional staff and leadership team members monitor the building, Garrett said. 

“We do not want to take the risk of having individuals come in contact with those who may be positive,” Garrett said. 

Aramark staff who clean Temple University Hospital also clean the bathrooms at Johnson and Hardwick halls daily, Cook said.

Aramark, which is also Temple’s dining service, provides three meals to isolated students once a day around mid-morning, Garrett said. Students are allowed to order extra food for delivery. 

“Menus are rotated, and do not repeat day-to-day,” wrote Endri Baduni, resident district manager of Temple Culinary Services, in an email to The Temple News. “The students do not select offerings, but do provide any dietary restrictions upon entering isolation housing.”

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