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CU will move students out of residence hall to double isolation space

Students living in Darley North were given three-days notice they were being reassigned to another dorm building.

BOULDER, Colorado — In an effort to double the space where students sick with COVID-19 can isolate, the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) is moving 186 students out of the Darley North residence hall.

Late Thursday evening, the university sent an email to students informing them they had three days to pack their belongings and move out of their dorm rooms. In the initial email, students were not told where they would be moving or with whom they would be living. 

"We were all very blindsided by it. Especially late in the evening, we had no forewarning," Kadi Rayl, a freshman living in Darley North, told 9NEWS.

That frustration was shared by Sydney McKenzie, another freshman living in Darley North.

"We just didn't see it coming at all. I think they realized they needed to do something," McKenzie said. "I'm just frustrated that it took so long."

As of Thursday morning, 67% of the university's isolation space was occupied. Removing students from Darley North will more than double CU's isolation rooms by adding 314 to the stockpile, the university said.

"We still do have space available from the isolation spaces that were reserved from the start of the academic year but the trend that we are seeing over the last week is concerning," said Melanie Parra, a spokesperson for the university.

According to the CU Boulder COVID-19 Ready Dashboard, the university returned 363 positive results in the last week.

RELATED: CU-Boulder sees dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases; health dept. 'strongly recommends' all students quarantine for 2 weeks

The trend also resulted in CU implementing a 14-day quarantine for students living in Boulder. Students are not allowed to gather for social purposes of any kind through Sept. 29, according to CU officials. 

RELATED: CU to enforce 14-day quarantine for students who live in Boulder

Parra said the university does not anticipate having to move students again but the sentiment provided little assurance for Rayl who is already considering moving home.

"I really do think it's going to be my best option to go home to keep myself safe and not put myself in more bad situations where that could cost me something," Rayl said.

Although moving home will cost the freshman. In the email delivered to students Thursday, the university said those who wish to move home and transfer to a fully remote learning model "can submit a request for release from the first-year live-on [campus] requirement." 

If the request is granted, CU will charge the student "50% of remaining room and board after a formal check-out." 

Even students who choose to remain on campus could be fined if they do not sufficiently clean their dorm room within the allotted 72 hours, the email sent to students says.

RELATED: CU director of football operations cited for public health violations after team hike with 108 people

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