First COVID-19 case on campus

Ashton Sixth East under quarantine as SPU confirms new case on website

Daniel Newman and Julia Herman

On Friday, Sept. 18, Seattle Pacific University had its first confirmed COVID- 19 case on campus. This is the first confirmed positive case of the 2020-21 school year. The student who tested positive for COVID-19 is being isolated in an unspecified location on campus, but Ashton Sixth East is currently under quarantine.

This is the second time that a floor in Ashton Hall has been put under quarantine this week. On Wednesday, September 16th, Ashton Third West was put under quarantine after a student showed symptoms of COVID-19. The student tested negative the following day and the students’ quarantine was lifted.

Facilities covered the elevator button leading up to the sixth floor so students would not access it. The sixth floor of Ashton is a direct route to the building’s parking lot, so students have to walk around the building to access it.

The button to the 6th floor in the Ashton East elevator has been taped off following the floor’s quarantine status.
(Courtesy of Lizzie VanBrunt)

Junior Molly Callison lives on Ashton Sixth East, and she received an email at 10:30 a.m. on Friday morning stating that a student on her floor was showing symptoms and is currently in isolation. Callison and others living on the floor have not been told the results of the test at this time, but SPU has confirmed one new case of COVID-19 on its website.

“There is a chance that the girl from our floor tests negative, and I think it’s really important to not chalk it up before we have definitive answers, so I think it’s harmful to make guesses, even if they’re educated right now,” Callison said.

Callison’s family lives out of state, but she still chose to return to campus this quarter because of her two jobs on campus, as well as for mental health reasons.

“Seattle is home for me now, and while I refer to my family’s new house as home, and I like my family, and I love visiting them, I think that focusing on school in a place that I did not consider home would have been mentally difficult for me,” Callison said.

Callison knew the risks that coming back to campus would have, but she put her trust in the protocols that were put in place and for other students to follow them.

“I hope this is a huge wake-up call to people who have not been following the rules as well as they should… know that this is not a drill and this is something to be taken really seriously, because it affects every single one of us,” Callison said.