Colorado State University Prepares More Isolation Rooms On Campus

CBS4’s Dillon Thomas learned the 11th and 12th floor of Westfall, the top floors of the dormitory tower, are being cleared of students as the university expands its isolation room availabilities.

The floors were selected as future isolation quarters because each floor of the tower has its own ventilation system, preventing airflow from spreading to floors with otherwise healthy students.

As the Delta variant of COVID-19 surges in Northern Colorado, filling nearly all ICU beds between Larimer and Weld counties, Colorado State University is moving forward with preparing more isolation rooms on their campus. CSU has notified 65 students in the Westfall Hall dormitory of their intent to move them to new rooms as the campus prepares to add an additional two floors worth of quarantine isolation rooms to their list of options for housing ill students.

Some students who currently live on the top floors of Westfall took to social media expressing their dissatisfaction with being forced out of their current dorms and having to move to another room on campus.

However, Marianne Wieghaus with CSU’s Housing & Dining Services office said students were told at the beginning of the year that their housing situation could be altered as the school year progressed.

“Westfall Hall was designated as expanded, temporary housing prior to the start of the academic year to accommodate a planned renovation project in the hall. Residents of Westfall were notified that their rooms would be temporary and that they’d need to be relocated later in the year, prior to moving into the hall,” Wieghaus told CBS4. “The renovation project has been delayed, and the majority of students who live in Westfall will remain in their rooms for the rest of the year.”

Wieghaus said 355 students who live in Westfall will remain in their dorms, while only 65 have been asked to change dorms. Those impacted are able to request a transfer to another hall, or they can ask to be placed in another room in Westfall which has an opening.

CSU said the decision to clear out the top floors of Westfall is not due to the current demand for COVID-19 isolation and quarantine quarters. Wieghaus said only 8% of the campus isolation rooms are claimed at this time.

“Currently, there is sufficient space for students who live in University Housing to isolate or quarantine in a residence hall, and there is no urgent need for this space,” Wieghaus said. “However, with increasing cases in the county, state and nation due to variants, housing is making additional space in Westfall available now as a contingency if there is a significant increase in cases. Clearing Westfall floors 11 and 12 is a contingency plan that provides the university with ample space for quarantine and isolation and prevents an urgent need to relocate students, should a need arise later in the year.”

As of Sept. 10, the last time the university updated their COVID-19 statistics, more than 85% of students on campus have proven they were either partially or fully vaccinated. Of the projected 28,500 students this fall semester, only 1,592 have been granted exemptions from getting their COVID-19 vaccine.

As for staff, more than 83% of the 8,531 employees have been partially or fully vaccinated.

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