Winona State University imposes quarantine, students concerned

Some are concerned that this will only make things worse.

Winona State University has imposed a two-week quarantine after it reached 206 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sept. 6. The quarantine will last until Sept. 21.

The lockdown began on Sept. 8, with the university announcing that it would shut down its non-essential services and areas, and would conduct as many activities as possible online in an attempt to reduce COVID-19 spread.

“Please note this is intended to be a temporary pivot. We are not currently aware of any serious illness related to COVID-19 within our WSU community. However, we are seeing an increase in asymptomatic transmission and believe that a 14-day self-imposed campus quarantine is needed to slow this spread,” says an email sent to students.

Though many of the university’s services are closed, and on-campus activity is limited to a few areas, some are concerned that this will only make things worse. The concerns come from students who are worried that being confined to the few open areas may bring more people in contact with infected people.

“While I agree action needs to be taken to reduce cases, I think the library and student commons remaining open isn’t the best move. Where else will students go? Not all students have off-campus places to study and now the areas on campus have been functionally concentrated,” Matthew Drewry, a student at the school and writer for The Winonan, told Alpha News.

WSU President Scott R. Olson said in a statement that the “increase in asymptomatic transmission” demands that the university “respond accordingly.” 

“We recognize that the recent increase in cases is not only impacting our campus, but the entire Winona community,” he said.

The university’s lockdown came a day after it had ordered an entire floor of a student housing building to quarantine. The lockdown of the floor caused students to feel that the university was hiding information from them, according to The Winonan. Winona State University has 7,228 enrolled students, and the city of Winona has 26,813 residents.