A hotel with free food, a ‘creepy’ dorm: Students describe quarantine and isolation


If you took a stroll on East Campus at the beginning of the semester and happened to find yourself standing in front of Jarvis dorm, you might have noticed the colorful poster hanging from one of the dorm’s second-story windows: “We are bored. Yell up to say hi.”

Previously a space for first-year housing, Jarvis has quickly gained notoriety for its status, alongside East House dorm, as an isolation space for on-campus Duke students who test positive for the coronavirus. Students in precautionary quarantine, meanwhile, are taken to the newly purchased Lodge at Duke Medical hotel. The students in these spaces are separate from the rest of the community, so except for scattered hints—like the poster—life there has been shrouded in mystery.

The journey to isolation begins with a positive test result—either your own or a friend’s.

First-year Michael Bell was eating lunch with friends when he received a text from a friend that she had just tested positive for COVID-19 as part of Duke’s pool testing.

“We freaked out because we didn’t really know much about contact tracing or how it worked, and we were just worried for her sake that she would get sent home or start developing symptoms,” Bell said.

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<p>A poster hanging from a window hints at Jarvis dorm's purpose as an isolation space, reading, "We are bored. Yell up to say hi."&nbsp;</p>
A poster hanging from a window hints at Jarvis dorm’s purpose as an isolation space, reading, “We are bored. Yell up to say hi.” Courtesy of Skylar Brogan

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