University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Neihardt Hall

Residence halls at University of Nebraska will be used to quarantine those exposed to virus

April 3, 2020
The state has agreement with the university to house people on campuses in Lincoln, Omaha and Kearney.

Nebraskans who need to quarantine because of potential exposure to coronavirus may be able to use a residence hall room at the University of Nebraska.

The Lincoln Journal-Star reports that the state has reached agreement with the university system for use of residence halls at University of Nebraska campuses in Lincoln, Omaha, and Kearney, as well as student housing at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis.

"It will create about 2,100 new beds we will have access to," Gov. Pete Ricketts says. "The plan for these beds is to use them for folks who need to quarantine."

University President Ted Carter says the school is honored to be a resource to the state and local communities in a time of need.

"We have resources and expertise across our campuses that can be brought to bear in the state's response to COVID-19," Carter says, "and today's news is one more example."

The agreement requires the state to provide 24 hours notice before moving any individuals to a designated residence hall room.

Once there, the state will pay the university $100 per day for each room occupied, the agreement states.

The state's Department of Health and Human Services will be responsible for providing medical care, and the university will provide three boxed meals per day for each person in quarantine and be required to perform janitorial duties.

On the Lincoln campus, the on-campus student population still living in residence halls has shrunk from more than 5,400 to about 760. Those students have been reassigned to centralized living spaces.

Last month, the university announced it was preparing a wing of Neihardt Hall to become quarantine space for students who were returning from overseas, as well as others who needed it.

There have been no requests to use dorm rooms for quarantine, officials at the Lincoln campus say, but it is preparing for people who are unable to isolate themselves at their primary place of residence because of exposure, a positive test or other needs.

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