The following post was submitted by a UVM parent to the UVM Parent & Guardian Facebook group. The author gave her permission to share her story with the UVM community, to give a firsthand account of the processes and supports in place and to ease parents' minds that their UVM students are being well cared for. The author wishes to remain anonymous at this time.
Good afternoon fellow Catamount parents and guardians!
I wanted to share with you my family’s experience over the past 10 days since my daughter, a freshman, became the first (and to my knowledge only, so far) student to arrive for on-campus quarantine and test positive for COVID (after a negative Vault test just days before).
After her test on Friday we said an emotional goodbye to our girl and hit the road. The next day she learned of her positive test results and— already very homesick and lonely—called us to let us know that she would be moved to a new building for 10 days of isolation. She was devastated, worried, and frightened, of course. She gave me the number of the UVM nurse who had called her and that nurse, who would become a friend over the next several days, was immediately responsive, reassuring, and competent. She explained the procedure, reassured our daughter, and calmly got her situated in her new room with a bag of comfort items. She was housed in a building all alone except for a couple of days when another girl was briefly lodged there on another floor. She was suspected of being positive but was not, thankfully.
As parents we had so many concerns: She had no symptoms but what if she developed them? She was so homesick and lonely before isolation—how would we help her through the huge change of being away at school AND now the complication of isolation and fear? Who would be there for her? Should we just bring her home?
Well, it has been 10 days and isolation is now over, and we could not be more grateful or impressed with the care our child received from UVM. Her nurse was ALWAYS responsive and open for calls and texts from us and our daughter and she and her staff checked in every day. When she developed stomach troubles from anxiety, she was connected immediately with a campus doctor who also checked in every day. When she felt overwhelmed with homesickness, she was connected with a counselor who called every day as well.
Each day she received the greatest of care, each day she received deliveries of fresh and healthy food, and each day, as we spent time on FaceTime and as she worked through this challenge, she developed coping skills she never had before. She has grown in unexpected ways! She managed her own communications, reached out for help as needed, and knew that she was supported both from her home in the south and her new home at UVM. We are so grateful that she remained symptom-free but, had she not, I feel confident that she would have been cared for with true respect and greatest attention.
Today ends her isolation and I am happy to say that she is just so excited to step out onto campus and get started, with a profound respect for maintaining the social distancing and health protocols in place at her school (she never wants to return to isolation or be the reason that her friends end up there).
My apologies for the long post—I just wanted you to know the good things that UVM is doing on behalf of our students. I have asked to remain anonymous and not to have comments because we literally have COVID exhaustion and just hope to be a source of comfort for you as we all move forward in this new landscape. Stay well!