Some students have reportedly been seen leaving isolation rooms

Kerry Mannix

Positive coronavirus cases among Pace students have spiked on the Pleasantville campus within the last two weeks. Junior Angelina Caracci’s question has been on the minds of many in the community: “Why did this increase happen?”

“Four students on our Pleasantville campus tested positive for Covid-19 on [September 21]. The next day, we tested more than 600 members of our community and identified another 16 students who tested positive. Those students have been isolated and their contacts are quarantining,” said Jerry McKinstry, director of public affairs in his Statement on Response to Cases on Pleasantville Campus.

The 600 students tested were Pace University athletes.

18 of the 20 students that tested positive were residents of Alumni Hall. Due to state law, a mandatory, two week, building wide quarantine was enforced beginning on Sept/ 24.

Alumni Hall
Credit: Pace University Westchester Housing

As members of the community pondered Caracci’s question, some students have stepped forward.

Madeline Maxwell, a sophomore living in the upperclassmen hall of Alumni, says she saw a student walking into an isolation room.

“I was in front of my friend’s door on the first floor in the upperclassmen hall and we were talking. A guy came into our hallway wearing a grey hoodie and holding a sandwich, and I know he does not live on our floor because there is only one room of all boys and I know all of them,” said Maxwell, “He walks to the stairs and tries to open the door but it does not open, then he walks into an isolation room. I know that they were isolation rooms because any room to the right of mine is empty and are only used for isolation.”

Immediately, Maxwell went to a security guard in Alumni to report the incident.

“He basically shrugged and said, ‘Okay, what do you want me to do?” I gave him a face of confusion and I said, ‘Well a kid walked into an isolation room, they cannot leave their room and people cannot go into them.’ The security guard said, ‘Well they can go out and get food,’ and I know for a fact they cannot do that. They need to stay inside and he basically kept saying there was nothing he could do about it,” said Maxwell.

Maxwell is not the only one. Another resident of Alumni, who wishes to remain anonymous, reported several similar events. The source lives in the same hall as Maxwell.

“I was talking with my friend at my door … and all of a sudden we just see quarantine doors fly open and those kids leave,” said the source. And another instance; “Someone who wasn’t in our building asked for a room number in our section, and when we said he didn’t know he went looking for the room, and greeted someone and just walked in.”

“We have told [security] multiple times of freshman breaking the rules, throwing parties, etcetera, and we are looked at with blank stares or told ‘What are we supposed to do about it?’ They would even get mad at us for reporting things,” said the anonymous source, “The fact that a majority of the issues could have been stopped if they altered RAs or RDs angers me.”

After more testing occurred this past week, there were a total of 47 positives by Friday, which rose to 52 (2.1%) Saturday, according to the Pace University Covid Dashboard.


Editors Note: This  was initially part of a class assignment. The strict deadline did not allow all sides of the story enough time to respond.