CSU reopens residence hall following increase in COVID-19 in wastewater

Coronavirus

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) — Colorado State University said it has removed the quarantine order for Braiden and Summit residence halls following high levels of COVID-19 in wastewater.

CSU sent a letter to students on Tuesday announcing the order would be lifted.

“Wastewater results have also dropped from high levels of COVID-19 detection in these two halls. As you know from our previous communications with you, wastewater is a very early indicator of infection in a community; there is still a need for caution,” shared CSU in a letter.

The quarantine was challenging for many students.

“It was weird, man — really weird. I just chilled in my room, you know. Couldn’t really do a lot,” Cayden Clark -Johnson said.

CSU Pandemic Response Team CoChair Lori Lynn said the wastewater early detection system “gave the information that we needed to determine that there were probably students who had not yet been identified as being positive and we needed to go in and test the rest of those.”

Six positive cases were detected in Braiden Hall. There were another three in Summit. Those students have been moved to isolation spaces. The rest of the student population is getting testing often.

CSU says their strategy slowed mounting positive cases.

“So we would do targeted testing strategies to identify populations that needed the test and that way, we break the cycle of transmission in that building,” Lynn said.

Wastewater testing continues at 17 locations around CSU’s campus.

Below is the full letter from CSU to impacted students:

Dear Braiden and Summit Hall students,

We want to thank you who followed our request to quarantine and test this weekend. Your commitment to your fellow Rams is appreciated and important to the health of our entire community. We know that being under quarantine can be difficult and stressful.

The Pandemic Preparedness Team has identified positive cases among students who remained in the halls during quarantine. At this time, from our testing, we have identified several positives in each hall; these numbers are dynamic and will change.

Follow up tests are required of residents who left the building as they return to ensure that positive cases have been identified and appropriate public health measures have been taken.

At this time, we have identified since Wednesday, Sept. 23:

  • 6 students tested positive in Braiden Hall and have been moved to isolation spaces on campus
  • 3 students tested positive in Summit Hall and have been moved to isolation spaces on campus

Wastewater results have also dropped from high levels of COVID-19 detection in these two halls. As you know from our previous communications with you, wastewater is a very early indicator of infection in a community; there is still a need for caution.

If you have been contacted by CSU public health officials because you have tested positive or have been a close contact of someone who did test positive and formally placed in isolation or quarantine, you must continue to follow those public health orders to isolate or quarantine.

If you did not take a COVID test on Saturday, September 26, or Sunday, September 27, you must get tested immediately, as outlined below.

Students who left their residence hall immediately before the quarantine period or during the quarantine to stay somewhere else may return if they get tested immediately. The following steps must be taken if you have not been tested since the building-wide quarantine began:

  • You will receive a separate email with instructions to test.
  • If you were tested off campus within the last 72 hours, you may submit your results to ehs_public_health_office@Mail.Colostate.edu to be exempt from the current mandatory testing protocol. You must include your student ID number, name, residence hall and room number.
  • This test is mandatory. It should be completed within 24 hours of your return to the hall. If you cannot make the testing times at the Lory Student Center, you may test at a Larimer County site.
  • While awaiting results, follow public health guidelines very carefully (wear a mask, physically distance at least 6 feet from others when outside of your room, and avoid gatherings).

Otherwise, all other students in Summit and Braiden Halls who tested negative from the tests last week are no longer in quarantine and may resume their normal schedules, including going to class or work.

The best way to avoid becoming infected, and to minimize the number of mandatory tests and the chances of another building-wide quarantine, is to diligently follow the public health guidelines.

Thank you for demonstrating that Rams take care of Rams, and for doing your part to keep our community healthy.

Thank you,

The Pandemic Preparedness Team

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