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Serra Hall to serve as additional quarantine space following surge in COVID-19 cases

 This is a breaking news story. Check back later for more updates.

Seton Hall’s Department of Housing and Residence Life announced in a Wednesday afternoon email to Resident Assistants (RAs) that the University would convert Serra Hall to serve as an additional quarantine dorm after a rapid surge in cases this week.

The announcement to RAs came a little over an hour after the University teased a 6 p.m. statement pertaining to the coronavirus on its social channels, but provided no further details. It is unclear if the plan to convert Serra Hall to a second quarantine dorm was to be part of that announcement.

Serra Hall, which is one of the three residence halls that make up the University’s Complex dorms, will supplement the existing 104 beds in Ora Manor -- the building initially designated as the primary quarantine space for students. 

Though the University does not publicly list the typical bed space available in Serra Hall, it says that the Complex dorms in their entirety can usually accommodate about 550 students. 

Serra Hall will serve as additional quarantine space, according to the University. (Cooper Tennant/Staff Photographer)

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So far, the University has not released any rationale behind the decision to open up more bed space for quarantined students and it is unclear how many students are in Ora Manor currently to isolate or quarantine. 

On Oct. 25, The Setonian first reported on an email obtained via a public record request from Director of Health Services Diane Lynch which detailed the only public record of the University’s pivot points. In the email, dated Aug. 21, Lynch told South Orange Village Health Office John Festa that the University would pivot to a break housing model where students would be ordered to return home if they could no longer appropriately isolate or quarantine students, though it is unclear if this plan is still current.

Nicholas Kerr can be reached at Find me on Twitter @nickdotkerr.


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