Students Test Positive for COVID-19 in Qatar Foundation Dorms

Muhammad Abdullah Imran Tahir, Social Media Editor

(Photo/ Qatar Foundation)

Several students living in the Qatar Foundation male housing complex have tested positive for COVID-19 over the last week, according to emails sent to students on Tuesday.

“We are writing to notify you that over the past week we have had several members of the Janoubi Student Housing community test positive for COVID-19,” the email noted. “We are taking a series of precautionary measures out of an abundance of caution.”

The email sent to students on Tuesday.

All students who have come into close contact with infected individuals have been shifted to a quarantine building and may also be tested, according to the email. However, residents doubt the effectiveness and timeliness of the measures being taken.

“Housing administration mentioned that they have traced all of the people in close proximity with people who tested positive. However, I highly doubt their tracing procedures because there are no working cameras inside the buildings,” said Sikandar Ali Chaudary, a senior at NU-Q and an acquaintance of a reportedly infected student. “An entire community is at stake and the only viable option is mandate testing on all residents.”

In an email to The Daily Q, housing staff declined to release the exact number of positive cases in the male and female housing complexes but assured that they actively communicate with the student affairs departments of all universities when there is a positive case.

Student housing has had nearly 300 students in the quarantine buildings, primarily as part of the requirements for individuals traveling into Qatar, said Matthew Nelson, head of residence life, in the email.

“In addition, we have had a small number quarantined due to being exposed to a positive case or testing positive themselves,” he added. “While in quarantine, students are tested as per guidance from MoPH and the QF Primary Health Care Clinic.” He declined to share which buildings the infected male students were living in.

The guest residence building, Amanah Hall, which was converted into a quarantine facility when the pandemic started. (Photo/ Muhammad Abdullah Imran Tahir)

NU-Q has gotten in contact with QF about the number of cases and the communication protocols, said Michael McDonough, the director for Health, Safety, Security, and Environment at NU-Q. “NU-Q will communicate with our community in cases of incidents within our building, which have thankfully been few, and mostly involved contractors, over that last months,” he added.

For residents and visitors of the housing complexes, wearing a mask is mandatory in all areas except students’ assigned rooms, with any in-person gatherings being strictly prohibited. Student Housing staff has also expressed the need for residents to adhere to social distancing guidelines with a minimum distance of 2 meters between individuals.

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