Southern, LSU, implement COVID restrictions for upcoming fall semester
BATON ROUGE - At this point in Louisiana's reopening, universities and college campuses remain on track to open their doors to students, faculty, and staff following the summer break.
College officials hope to ward off the threat posed by COVID-19 by implementing health and safety precautions that will change much of day-to-day work/life for both students and faculty/staff.
For example, on August 24th, LSU students will return to a campus that has implemented the following protocol:
-Classroom occupancy will be restricted to 50%
-Students attending classes on campus will be required to wear face masks while in class, in addition to practicing social distancing
-Common spaces such as the library, union, and bookstore will see altered operations and limited capacity.
-Random virus tests of 10% to 16% of students and faculty (on a voluntary basis) will take place
-LSU will construct its own contact tracing platform.
-All classes and lectures will be livestreamed or recorded
LSU's interim President, Tom Galligan, said students are free to either attend classes in-person, remotely via online hosts, or use a hybrid of both options.
At Southern University, the school's first in a series of Fall orientation programs is expected to take place Sunday, August 2nd. The University has prepared an in-person orientation, an online orientation, as well as a hybrid of both.
And Southern's leaders say when it comes to Fall classes, they're equipped to adapt to whatever the situation calls for.
As they monitor the ever-changing situation, which is dictated by the spread of COVID-19, university heads say they will either bring students back on campus with social distancing restrictions in place or move to completely online classes for the Fall semester, should that be the safest option for all.
Whatever the situation brings, they have a plan ready.
This flexible mindset is similar to Governor John Bel Edwards' as he and state health officials cautiously move through Phase 2 of the state's reopening.
Though the state eased into Phase 2 fairly swiftly, when it came to entering Phase 3, the Governor said the uptick in virus cases meant it would be best to remain in Phase 2 for another 28 days.
On Tuesday, state health officials reported 1,356 new coronavirus cases, bringing the statewide total of known cases to 51,595.
It marked the first time the state reported more than 1,000 new cases in a single day since early April.
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