Baylor Family helps COVID-19-positive students during winter storm

Quarantined students were moved from their hotel rooms to Arbor Apartments last week after power outages due to inclement weather. Photo illustration by Sarah Pinkerton | Photographer

By Annaleise Parsons | Staff Writer

The Baylor Family pulled together last week to help quarantined and COVID-19-positive students during the ice storm that brought the coldest temperatures Waco has seen since 1989.

Rebecca Kennedy, assistant dean of spiritual life and missions, said the storm “caught everyone off guard,” particularly when it caused a power outage at the hotel where isolated students were housed.

“We had to transfer students back … There’s a lot of moving pieces, and there were people all over campus pitching in,” Kennedy said.

The students from that hotel were moved to the Arbors Apartments with the help of Baylor staff and students who were able to drive on snow and ice.

Polly Flippin, budget associate for the Office of Spiritual Life, along with her husband and son, went to the grocery store three times during the week to buy and deliver food to the off-campus COVID-19 housing.

“She’s a Baylor employee that went above and beyond … She’s such a servant, and I’m very proud and thankful for her service to the students and the university,” Kennedy said.

Atlanta freshman James Jackson tested positive for COVID-19 the Thursday before the winter storm hit and went into off-campus isolation housing. He said students in the off-campus housing were checked on throughout the week regarding their symptoms, supply of water and food, and spiritual needs.

“I had people text me every two to three days through Baylor saying if we had any questions we could ask them, if we had any food, if we were feeling okay…” Jackson said.

Though the wintry week proved a challenge to Baylor and those stuck in quarantine and isolation, Kennedy said she was proud of the work the community did to come together and provide for each other.

“It was a Baylor Family effort to make sure that students were taken care of,” Kennedy said.