University of Colorado officials are forcing students to move out of their dorm rooms in the Darley North tower at the Williams Village complex to create more isolation housing for students with COVID-19 as infections on the Boulder campus continue to surge.
Two-thirds of CU Boulder’s on-campus isolation space already is full as the university reports more than 670 infections since classes began four weeks ago. Students living locally currently are under a recommended 14-day quarantine as cases spike.
All students living in Darley North — CU officials haven’t said how many currently live there — must to move to other residence halls within Williams Village by 5 p.m. Sunday, according to an email sent to the impacted students.
The message said students will learn about their new living arrangements in a Friday afternoon email.
Once students receive their new room assignment, they will have 48 hours to complete their move, the email said. Students can be charged for not properly cleaning the room they are leaving.
For the inconvenience, impacted students will receive a $250 credit that can be used toward tuition.
“We know that moving mid-semester is challenging, and we are doing everything we can to minimize the impacts of this change for our residents,” the university email says. “We will do our best to keep your community together, though we will not be able to move roommates together due to space availability. You will continue to have dedicated staff in your new building to support your needs.”
The university is relaxing their requirement for all freshmen to live on campus, the email said. Impacted students who would like to move home with family and change their classes to fully remote — local or not — can submit a request to leave.
Requests to reside off-campus locally will not be considered.
“It is important to know that this approval is considered under the Termination by Student after Occupancy section of the contract and does include a termination charge of 50% of remaining room and board after a formal check-out,” the email said.
Living in a dorm with a roommate and a community bathroom costs $7,610 per semester, according to the university.
Friday morning, CU reported 130 new cases of COVID-19 on campus, bringing the total number of cases since classes resume at CU Boulder to 671.
According to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard, only 67% of the allotted isolation space is in use.
As of Thursday morning, the university had 151 beds in use of the 267 beds available for on-campus residents in need of isolation space, according to a campus update. The majority of reserved isolation space is on campus and 16 spaces are in use at local hotels the university reserved.
The university initially isolated students in dorm rooms without a roommate, but as the need for more space increases, university officials said they will begin to assign students a roommate in isolation.
Earlier in the week, Boulder County health officials urged all CU Boulder students to self-quarantine for two weeks as cases of the highly contagious respiratory illness continue to surge on campus, making up a majority of Boulder County’s COVID-19 cases and, state health officials believe, helping drive an uptick in the state’s coronavirus cases.
This is a developing story that will be updated.
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