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Dorms ready to house people in quarantine, self isolating

Posted at 6:22 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 20:09:40-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Area universities are stepping up in a big way. With many students living at home finishing off the semester through distance learning, dorms are unoccupied. Creighton University is turning Swanson Hall into a place where people can self quarantine or self isolate if they can’t do so safely at home.

“Our mission calls us to be men and women for and with others,” said Tanya Winegard, Vice Provost for Student Life at Creighton. “We have these wonderful resources where our students get to be most of the time. We’re sad they're gone. But we have this space and want to welcome anyone that needs that resource.”

120 people can stay inside Swanson Hall. Each person needs their own private bed and bathroom.

Chancellor Jeffrey Gold said University of Nebraska Omaha is also prepared to use people in need of isolation or quarantine.

“Its a pretty simple equation to me,” Gold said. “If you were to ask if one of the patients we needed to quarantine or isolate was one of our family members, one of our close friends, a next door neighbor, a loved one, would we want to do that for them? Of course all of us would say, 'Of course we would,' so that's the same way we take care of each other in this community.”

“You may remember one of our early healthcare workers from Methodist couldn’t go home because she had elderly parents, so people like that. People who need to isolate, and people who are convalescing,” Gov. Pete Ricketts said.

University food services will cook meals, though they will be served by a state employee. University cleaning services will also sanitize the dorms when people move out so they’re ready for students this fall.

Chancellor Gold said UNO has not been asked to house anyone yet and they don’t know when the state may take over dorms.

Creighton has plans to turn Swanson Hall over to the state on Friday.