A Pennsylvania college is telling students who become infected with coronavirus or who come into close contact with the virus they “must” go home if they live within 300 miles of campus.
Gettysburg College outlines the policy on its website, stating that “any student who lives within 300 miles of the college must isolate or quarantine at home if they test positive or are identified as a close contact.”
The email said that the policy was necessary given the “finite” amount of resources available on campus.
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“Given the high transmission rate of the omicron variant, we expect to see a higher number of positive cases than we saw in the fall,” the Gettysburg emails states. “We have identified ample isolation and quarantine spaces to account for this increase. However, the food service, facilities and other staffing resources available to support students in isolation and quarantine are finite, and redirecting those resources disrupts our ability to fully conduct day-to-day operations.”
Gettysburg College also answered questions about the policy on Instagram. One student asked, “What if we live within the 300 miles but have high-risk family at home?”
“Students who need to isolate and have extenuating health or family circumstances can speak with health services about their specific situation,” the college’s Instagram account responded.
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Students who are found in violation of the coronavirus policies put in place by the college will also be subject to disciplinary action, according to the Gettysburg College website.
One Gettysburg College student, Ashton Willcox, who’s also a College Republicans member, said he thinks the policy is “really really risky for families.”
“If the college wants to implement restrictions due to COVID and act like the restrictions are needed, they should not force those who have COVID to go all the way home instead of simply quarantining at school. It is risky for everyone and is a large error on the school’s part. I hope they will be able to potentially change this policy to keep myself and other students safe,” Willcox said.
Jamie Yates, executive director of communications and marketing at Gettysburg College, told Fox News students living in a space with their own bathroom do not need to relocate.
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“In accordance with public health best practices, our goal is to reduce the possibility of students who need to isolate or quarantine per CDC guidance transmitting the virus to others,” Yates said. “If students are able to travel home, we appreciate their willingness to do so in order to free up space for those who cannot.”
She added that the university would work with students “to understand their individual circumstances.”