07 Aug A Guide to Apartment Living During COVID-19 in Columbia, Mo
There’s no doubt that this upcoming fall will look different than usual, especially for the thousands of students at local universities like Mizzou, Stephens College and Columbia College. The COVID-19 pandemic has swept the nation and confronted us all with new challenges. For many apartment renters in Columbia, Mo, this means learning to navigate the upcoming school year safely and responsibly.
As a young adult, it’s completely normal to have questions about living on, or near, campus while juggling new and unusual circumstances. Which friends can you see, and where? Which classes will be held in person? Will internships and jobs still be available? How will this affect where I live? Thankfully, there are practical ways to make living in a population-dense environment like an apartment safe during these times.
Navigating COVID-19: Make a Plan With Your Roommates
It’s in your best interest to be proactive and not reactive. If you have roommates, discuss what you’re all comfortable with in terms of social distancing practices. Be sure to have a plan regarding what you will do if one of you feels sick and tests positive for COVID-19. If the sick person quarantines in their room, will another roommate be able to help keep the common areas clean and prepare food? Will your other roommates temporarily leave while you recover? Could someone drop off groceries?
Answering these questions ahead of time will help take away some of the uncertainties surrounding a stressful situation. This guide from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for people living in close quarters can help get you started.
Know Your Columbia Apartment’s Policies Around COVID-19
It is also wise to learn your building’s policies regarding COVID-19 ahead of time. Ask your landlord or a member of the staff what their cleaning protocols are and if, or how, they plan to notify residents if a tenant tests positive. Further, understand your responsibilities around reporting a positive case in your unit to your building’s staff. You reporting a case, along with notifying your recent close contacts, can help prevent a larger outbreak in your building.
Stay Informed About the City of Columbia’s COVID-19 Response
Being aware of the rules and regulations in Columbia can help you make informed decisions and slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. You can visit the city’s website for the latest updates, health resources and more. Be sure to stay informed about mask ordinances and other guidelines the city has put in place.
How to Prevent Getting COVID-19 in Your Apartment Building in Columbia, Mo
As we know, COVID-19 is spread mainly between people who are in close proximity to one another. It can also be spread by someone touching a surface with the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes. There are several proven ways to prevent transmission that you should make a habit upon moving into your apartment in Columbia, Mo.
Tips for Maintaining Proper Hygiene & Keeping an Apartment Clean
You’ve likely heard these tips several times, but they’re worth repeating! Regular tasks like taking out the trash or walking your dog mean encountering several other residents and surfaces each day. Keep yourself and your neighbors in your Columbia, Mo apartment rental healthy by doing the following.
- Wear a mask in common areas. In addition to wearing a mask when out in public, you should wear one in the lobby, mailroom, elevators and hallways of your apartment building. You can buy masks in some stores or online, and you can also make one yourself. Be sure to wash your masks regularly and wash your hands after you take them off.
- Wash your hands. A lot. We know—you’ve heard this one a lot lately: wash your hands the moment you get home. Simply running them under water is not enough! Use antibacterial soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing is much more effective than using hand sanitizer, so whenever you have the opportunity to use soap and water, take it.
- Clean high-touch surfaces regularly. Since you might be sharing a kitchen, living space and possibly even a bathroom in your apartment, you’ll want to invest in disinfectant cleaning products and use them frequently. Clean high-touch surfaces, like door knobs, appliance buttons and handles, cell phones, light switches and remotes, daily.
Tips for Working and Taking Classes From Home in Columbia, Mo
Many students at Mizzou, Stephens College and Columbia College have a combination of in-person and online courses this semester. For some, taking a course online is uncharted territory. Many professors are even teaching classes remotely for the first time! Thankfully, there are several resources available to you and practical ways you can stay engaged while taking a class online. The same advice applies if you are working at a job or internship from home.
- Establish a workspace. You may be tempted to listen to a lecture in bed, and maybe that will work on some occasions. But when you really have to bear down and be productive, it’s essential to find a quiet, productive workspace. This can mean getting creative, especially since many larger study facilities and dining areas of coffeeshops are probably closed. If you have a balcony, enjoy some fresh air and sit at a table outside. Have a kitchen table you never use? Transform it into your desk! Even if it means just switching rooms, change your scenery often to avoid burnout.
- Get ready for the day. By taking classes online, you cut the time it takes to commute. Use this time instead to throw on clothes other than sweats, eat something and even step outside. Giving yourself time to transition in the morning will set your day off on a productive note.
- Communicate. Talk to your professors. Take time to introduce yourself virtually and meet them. If you’re confused about accessing online materials or have concerns about the class format, set up a video call. We all have some nerves, and being compassionate and communicative will go a long way in making your semester a positive one.
What if You Think You Have COVID-19?
Amidst the learning curves that young adults are facing in both work and school, it’s important to remember that this is really all about your health. If you know you were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, let your recent close contacts know immediately. If someone in your apartment building is positive, don’t panic. If you’re maintaining proper hygiene and social distancing, you’re likely safe.
If you start to feel sick, stay home and contact your healthcare provider. Boone Hospital Center is offering virtual COVID-19 screenings and testing. Take the advice of your healthcare provider and look to the CDC for more directions if you are sick.
Stay Safe This Year in Your Columbia, Mo Apartment!
Whether you live in one of our bustling downtown locations, 308 Ninth or Broadway, or at The Manor or Cherry Hill, join us in working to make our apartment rentals in Columbia, Mo as safe as possible during these times. Contact Lofts of Columbia with any questions or concerns about our COVID-19 response. Your apartment building staff are here to help you and our Columbia community stay healthy!