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NKU Campus, Arena to Serve as Hospital Overflow, Quarantine Space

The Honors House on the campus of Northern Kentucky University will serve as a place for first responders "to take breaks from work without having to go home," NKU President Ashish Vaidya announced on Thursday.

The Highland Heights campus is partnering with Campbell, Boone, and Kenton counties to serve emergency personnel who are living apart from their families during the "healthy at home" and social-distancing efforts that aim to slow the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19. 

"The building should be ready tomorrow morning to serve 40 first responders," Vaidya said in a letter to the campus community.

Additionally, the university president said that Northern Terrace will be set up as a site to quarantine first responders who may have been exposed to the respiratory virus that has caused a global pandemic. That facility should come online early next week, Vaidya said.

"Our dining services will provide the meals for those using our facilities, and the delivery will be coordinated through the County Emergency Management team," Vaidya said.

BB&T Arena could also be used as a 200-bed hospital facility if there is need for overflow space, Viadya wrote.

"It appears that this plan may go into effect near the end of April, with the arena serving that need through June," he said.

"As I have said before—during times of crisis, our true colors show. I am proud that NKU is stepping up in so many ways as a leader in the fight against COVID-19," Vaidya said. "Whether it is the College of Health and Human Services or individual faculty and staff donating personal protective equipment and ventilators to local hospitals, or our students navigating the virtual classroom to stay “healthy at home,” we are all doing our part. Regional stewardship is a vital piece of our history, and the COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted the importance of that role. Throughout the pandemic, NKU has remained a resource for the community— ready and able to assist in keeping our region safe and healthy."

-Staff report