A Doane student was “presumed positive” for COVID-19 after moving out of Smith Hall, but others still reside there and share their reactions to the news. 

Junior Maggie Elliot said she is not concerned too much about contracting it even though she is still living on the fourth floor of Smith Hall with two other people. 

“I do think about the possibility of contracting it occasionally, but I’m not overly concerning myself at the moment,” Elliot said.

Junior Kenneth Weber feels otherwise about the news. 

“I am mainly curious as to how closely I was in contact with the student, other people that student has been in contact with or even items and areas that student had been in contact with,” Weber said. 

Weber moved out of Smith on Friday after returning home from Illinois and only visited the places in the dorm hall  he needed to. 

Freshman Tressa Bull said before the news came out about the possible case in Smith, she along with her parents had already decided that she would move back home.

“I am not too concerned since they were diagnosed while we were in Hawaii [for golf], but it still is a little frightening,” Bull said. “And I am not concerned about getting it because I have been home for most of the time I have been back.”

Bull said that she did spend two days when she got back cleaning her whole room and is planning on moving out of Smith today..

Senior Communications Manager Ryan Mueksch said that there is a very small group of students still living in Smith Hall as of right now. 

“After consulting with local public health officials, it has been determined that it is still safe to live in Smith and students should not be overly concerned. Deep cleaning and extra cleaning of fomites in Smith has been done and there are cleaning/disinfecting supplies available for students and staff to use,” Mueksch said. 

Elliot said she’s been washing her hands constantly to the point that they’ve gotten so dry even after putting lotion on them. She said that she has also washed all of her clothes from her spring break trip to Hawaii and has been practicing social distancing by not going anywhere besides the third level of Smith for laundry and the microwave. 

“I’ve been taking this self quarantine very seriously, even to the point I couldn’t hug my mom on her birthday since her immune system is compromised from chemo [therapy],”  Elliot said. 

Bull said she thinks Doane is taking the right steps. She added that she knows this time is hard on everyone but if everyone follows the rules then it shouldn't be a problem.

“It is times like these when I am glad we are at a smaller school and have good relationships with professors. They are there for us and they will make sure we have the things we need to succeed,” Bull said. 

Mueksch said that with less than 50 students remaining in the residence halls now, Doane has limited the chance for exposure of COVID-19. He added that the overwhelming majority of employees are working remotely as well.

“The only comment that I can add is that I believe this "pandemic" is an opportunity for the Doane community as a whole to show off the skills, talents, and qualities that truly make us who we are as a community and really persevere through these unprecedented times,” Weber said. “I truly believe that we as a community can and will make it through these times and come out of them stronger, smarter, and more united than we ever have before.”


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