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University of Providence preps for students' return to campus

Posted at 9:32 AM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 11:32:10-05

GREAT FALLS — The University of Providence was quiet Monday, save for the sound of nearby traffic - but come January 11, it will be filled with the sounds of some of the university's hundreds of students trying to adjust to a new version of on-campus learning.

"One of the pieces of making sure that we were prepared for spring was making sure that we had sufficient quarantine and isolation spaces,” said Mackenzie Stick, UP Enrollment Management VP.

Providence, Sikora, and St. Rita Hall will be used for quarantine and isolation. While isolating or quarantining on campus will be recommended, the university cannot force students to quarantine or isolate on campus. The campus has a total of 24 isolation rooms and 23 quarantine rooms.

Each campus apartment being used as an isolation room has four bedrooms, however, meaning the apartments could potentially be used to isolate more than 24 students if necessary.

There is also additional quarantine space. If the university runs out of quarantine or isolation space, four local hotels have agreed to house students as necessary. The university's enrollment management vice president, Mackenzie Stick, says the university will follow CDC guidelines.

COVID testing is also part of the university's return-to-campus plan. Alluvion Health will offer testing on campus.

Students, faculty, and staff will have to test negative for the virus before they can attend class in person.

"I can assure you we will be testing students, faculty and staff frequently, ongoing throughout the semester," Stick said.

Desks have been spaced out in classrooms and extra cleaning is also being done regularly to keep campus, and ultimately the community, as safe and healthy as possible.

Extended interview with Mackenzie Stick: