UVA students discuss quarantine, lack of housing and mental health

UVA students discuss quarantine, lack or housing and mental health

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - On University of Virginia (UVA) grounds, new measures have been in place for few weeks restricting what students can and can’t do due to rising COVID-19 cases. While students say they know it’s to keep them safe, it’s still affecting their mental health.

“I was exposed to my friends about three weeks ago now. And as soon as I found out about it I called UVA and they tested, they let me get tested right away,” UVA Fourth Year Russell Edwards said. “The results came back within about 24 hours, I think it was 26 hours. Then, yeah, they told me to stay in my room in my house which I did until 14 days after my exposure time."

Edwards says this fall has been hard on everyone.

“UVA is not doing much to really help students cope with the fact that this is tough for pretty much everybody here,” he explained.

The new guidelines put in place are taking their toll on his mental health.

“I’ve been socializing safely," Edwards said. “I need some sort of connection to keep like my mental health, steady and be able to focus while on my classes.”

As part of those restrictions, UVA is now limiting the size of groups to five and banning non-essential travel. Thomas Fortier, another fourth year student, says the university has had to backtrack after saying asymptomatic tests would be available for students.

“UVA mentioned we could get asymptomatic testing every 60 days and I actually called to ask for an asymptomatic test and then basically just mentioned that wasn’t really a thing,” Fortier said.

He says it’s unfair when he sees the amount of tests athletes are given compared to the rest of the student body.

“There’s also been news coming out that they’ve like given about half the tests to athletes, despite like the rest of us not having any asymptomatic testing whatsoever tested every three days,” Fortier said.

For more information and statistics on COVID-19 cases and precautions at UVA, visit the university’s COVID-19 tracker.

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