The University of New Haven required all students to get coronavirus tests before returning to campus.
Complicating these efforts was that Connecticut issued travel and quarantine restrictions for people traveling from states with high rates of transmission.
“Our goal was to preserve all the best things about being on campus and campus life, and reimagine how a university can operate under the COVID constraints,” says Summer McGee, the dean of the School of Health Sciences who is overseeing the university’s reopening as its COVID-19 coordinator.
The university is relying on tents and outdoor areas to provide safer spaces for classes and other gatherings.
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Administrators have also enlisted student government members and other student leaders to ensure their classmates follow safety precautions such as wearing face coverings, social distancing and other responsible behaviors.
“We’ve been trying to emphasize that the semester is in their hands,” McGee says. “How long we’ll be able to operate depends on their behavior and their choices.”
With many university staffers working remotely, large office spaces have been converted into the classrooms. Large dining halls are serving as additional classroom and event space.
Per state of Connecticut regulations, 10% of the campus population are being tested for COVID weekly. These random tests should help identify students or staff who are asymptomatic.
If students have to stay home, course materials are being recorded and provided online. Faculty are asked to record courses should they fall ill and have to stay home.
Read the other stories in our Campus Life During COVID series:
- Self-assessing symptoms at the University Central Florida
- Foodservice flexibility at the University of Rochester
- Research recovers by mid-summer
- Digital literacy during COVID
- 5 snapshots of campus life during the COVID-era