Lice Outbreak Prompts Administration to Ban Dorm to Dorm Sleepovers

Amidst a current lice outbreak on campus, which first appeared two weeks ago, dorm-to-dorm sleepovers are no longer allowed and students are being advised to sleep in their own beds until the outbreak is over, according to a school wide email sent on Thursday.

Although lice had initially been contained within one or two dorms, it has recently spread to multiple dorms, according to Paul Murphy, Dean of Students and Residential Life.

“This [outbreak] is different; it’s definitely affected a number of dorms, and it feels like it’s related to sleepovers and other ways that people are hanging out together,” said Murphy in an interview with The Phillipian.

“In the last few days, we’ve toyed with this idea, and we haven’t jumped to this [new sleepover] policy lightly. We’re trying to take the right measures so that we aren’t consumed with it,” continued Murphy.

Isham Health Center has taken steps to prevent the further spread of lice by conducting several lice screenings. Johnson Hall has been screened twice, according to Kyle Kingston ’16, and Adams Hall had its second screening on Thursday, according to Sarah Humes ’16. Isham has asked students with lice to regularly check in with the nurses until it is completely treated.

“I thought it was great that [the administration] took the precautionary steps to ensure that the campus’s health was at its finest,” wrote Sabrina Lu ’17 in an email to The Phillipian.

Murphy noted that lice usually has a greater impact on girls than boys, because boys typically have shorter hair. Murphy said boys can contract lice too, however.

In his email, Murphy reminded students to not share brushes, combs, hair ties or hats, to avoid head-to-head contact and to check hair when returning to school from breaks.