Fairmont State University to transition Pence Hall to facility for quarantined students


FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Fairmont State University announced on Friday that Pence Hall will become a dedicated facility to meet the special needs of students who are quarantined due to COVID-19.

A release from the university said that this is being done in an effort to respond to Gov. Jim Justice’s request for Higher Education institutions to isolate and quarantine students on-campus.

The university’s COVID-19 Task Force has been working daily since early summer to prepare the campus for the return of students, according to the release. University officials said this included the management of active COVID-19 cases on campus the the processes for quarantining students who have potentially been exposed to the virus.

As the pandemic continues, Fairmont State’s strategies continue to shift to best meet the needs of its students and requirements from local and state authorities, according to the release.

The release stated that due to the historic nature of Fairmont State’s campus housing, a majority of unoccupied residence hall rooms feature communal bathrooms and are sprinkled throughout campus. Previously, to effectively quarantine students, Fairmont State had sought a hotel partner who could provide the amenities needed to safely house quarantined students while maintaining the highest of standards and best experiences.

The release stated that Fairmont State chose to engage the services of a Bridgeport hotel, which is a premiere hotel location that includes on-site security, video monitoring, studio kitchens, private bathrooms and other modern amenities. This location was also chosen due to their COVID-19 business model that includes cleaning and staffing procedures to meet the needs of individuals in quarantine including health care workers and other essential employees.  

University officials said it is important to understand that currently, the “overwhelming majority” of students in quarantine have not received a positive COVID-19 test result. The release stated that out of an abundance of caution and to reduce the likelihood of spread on campus, Fairmont State places students in quarantine who have had a primary exposure to someone with COVID-19, or who is symptomatic. These students remain in quarantine until the Marion County Health Department completes their contact tracing investigation, and the student is release by both the Marion County Health Department and Fairmont State, according to the release.

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