‘It’s just a disaster’: Quarantined UW students flee isolated dorms

Students in Sellery and Witte Residence Halls are in isolation for the next two weeks after a high number of positive COVID-19 cases.
Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 2:53 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - As two UW-Madison residence halls directed students to quarantine in place, many started packing their bags to leave campus.

This comes after Public Health Madison Dane County announced a record-high number of COVID-19 cases on Thursday.

Mitchell Kaurich is a freshman living in Sellery Hall and says he plans to return to his home state of Michigan on Saturday.

“It’s pretty chaotic,” said Kaurich. “It’s just a disaster, honestly. I really don’t think we should have opened up campus at all this year.”

When he pictured his time at UW-Madison, Kaurich says did not envision it being locked into his dorm room.

“A lot of people described it pretty much like prison, but with school-work and stuff,” he said. “It’s been kind of stressful and pretty hard to deal with.”

Noa Figenblat, another Sellery Hall resident, is also planning to fly back home to California instead of remain in isolation on campus.

“It kind of sucks,” said Figenblat. “We definitely didn’t want it to go this way.”

Figenblat says most students are keeping to themselves after rumors flew Wednesday night of a residence hall lockdown.

“It’s pretty quiet for now, at least on my floor,” she said. “Everyone is just in their rooms watching TV and making food.”

Witte and Sellery Halls are the two dorms that are being quarantined after a high number of positive COVID-19 cases....

Posted by Gabriella Rusk NBC15 on Thursday, September 10, 2020

A block further down University Ave at Witte Hall, Gwyneth Gerlach is packing her bags to drive to the Twin Cities.

“It’s tough,” said Gerlach. “it’s definitely not the experience that anyone was hoping for.”

Her reason for leaving is because she says it would be difficult to remain indoors for the two full weeks.

“I would prefer to stay if we were able to go outside and just get some fresh air,” said Gerlach.

Kaurich says his parents are worried about his safety too.

“They don’t want me to get COVID, but they don’t want me living under these conditions basically,” said Kaurich.

With one week of classes under their belt, many freshmen say they were just starting to get a handle on things.

“We want to meet people. We want to be able to go out, so it sucks,” said Figenblat.

“Now it’s like we’re kind of starting all over again,” said Gerlach. “We knew this was going to happen, it’s just a bummer it happened so soon.”

All Witte and Sellery Hall residents will be tested for COVID-19 on Thursday and Friday. UW-Madison announced the remote-instruction period will be in effect until September 25th.

For more details to COVID-19 changes to campus, click HERE.

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