Her roommate at Michigan State University tested positive
for the coronavirus in mid-August, forcing Bih, an MSU senior
from Cameroon, to seek quarantine housing offered by the
Within an hour of calling MSU Residential and Hospitality
Services to report the infection and seek further directions,
all four roommates had packed bags and moved into their new
accommodations at the Kellogg Center, which now is open only to
MSU began offering isolation housing for students in March, but
few people used it. As of Oct. 23, two on-campus residents were
in isolation after contracting COVID-19. Another six students
were in quarantine because they may have been exposed to
COVID-19, according to the MSU COVID-19 dashboard. It's unclear
if any were staying at the Kellogg Center.
It appeared to at least be a better experience than what some
University of Michigan students saw in their isolation
In September, a University of Michigan student posted a TikTok
video sharing his experience while quarantining in a university
apartment complex. His room was bare of essentials like soap or
a microwave. It did have a roll of single-ply toilet paper and
U-M President Mark Schlissel
announced the university was looking into the issues in a letter
posted the same day.
Bih's experience was better. She and her roommates moved into
separate guest rooms at Kellogg Center, an on-campus hotel and
conference facility. Meals were delivered to their doors, she
said, and filled trash bags could be left outside the door for
disposal. Each room came with bed linen changes when needed, a
carton of sanitizer and cleaning supplies.
``It was so much better than I thought it would be,'' Bih told
the Lansing State Journal.
MSU wants to make the experience of being exposed to or
diagnosed with COVID-19 safe and comfortable, said Kat Cooper,
chief communications officer for MSU Residential and Hospitality
MSU sent most of its undergraduates home last spring as
COIVID-19 began spreading in Michigan, although it continued to
house international students and others who did not have safe
alternative housing away from campus.
Most undergraduate classes have been taught remotely since then
and this fall MSU opened its residence halls only for some 2,000
students who demonstrated a need to be housed on campus.
Any on-campus students not living in single-occupancy rooms with
their own bathrooms are asked to self-isolate at Kellogg Center
if they contract COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who
did. Doctors and Ingham County Health Department officials
determine the length of their stay, Cooper said.
They stay in standard guest rooms, featuring beds with pillows
and sheets, TVs, mini fridges, microwaves and private bathrooms.
Students are asked to bring two weeks worth of clothing, but can
can be connected with laundry services if needed.
Students can order three meals for the following day that will
be delivered to their doors.
Those who stay are expected to remain in their rooms and cannot
have guests. Students are given a phone number to send text
messages if they need anything.
Bih, who is also the president of Associated Students of MSU,
said she kept busy with her student government work. But waiting
to learn whether she had COVID-19—she didn't—and staying alone
in the room was isolating and an experience she hopes not to
``It was scary,'' she said. ``I called my mom in Cameroon and
told her I might have COVID-19 and she freaked out, which
freaked me out even more. It's the sense of uncertainty. You
start to feel like you're actually sick, but you don't know if
that's mental or physical.''