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Southern University opens with COVID precautions in place as students return for first day of Fall classes

3 years 6 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 August 12, 2020 5:50 PM August 12, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Southern University is welcoming students, faculty, and staff back to a thoroughly sanitized and health/safety conscious campus for its first day of Fall classes on Wednesday, August 12.

It is the first day of the fall semester at Southern University and students are experiencing something they've never dealt with on campus before.

Temperature checks are mandatory before any Jaguar enters the Bluff. There are three checkpoints across campus.

"I feel very comfortable. I'm just wondering how classes are going to be," one freshman student said.

School officials say they've followed the COVID-related advice of the CDC, as well as state and local health officials in preparing the reopening of campus. 

For example, face coverings must be worn at all times while on campus, and everyone entering campus must have their temperatures checked at the following locations:

- Harding Boulevard (overpass/"The Hump")

- Swan Avenue (Nursing School and Southern University Laboratory School)

- Mills Avenue (back gate/"Blue Store")

In addition to this, if students don't feel comfortable attending in-person classes, they've been given the choice to attend class virtually. This is one of three options presented to students this semester: traditional (in-person), fully online, or hybrid (blend of traditional and online instruction).

"It was kind of hard doing online, so I'm happy we're back face to face. If people wear their masks then I feel like we'll be okay," student Jazzmine Palmer said.

Southern's employees are also included among those benefiting from COVID health/safety protocol. They are invited, along with students, to receive COVID-19 testing and prevention services.

For employees, testing is performed through CareSouth, and health consultations and medical treatment from Ochsner Health. Students will receive the same services via the Student Health Center.

SGA President Chandler Vidrine urges students to mask up.

"Always mask up. Please do not let it go by and just think that because you're not masking up, it wouldn't affect anything. You're putting other people's lives at risk when you don't follow what we're supposed to be doing here," Vidrine said.

In addition to this, both students and employees will have access to adequate sanitization stations throughout campus. 

Southern's officials indicate that despite the challenges posed by the current health crisis, they're prepared for the 2020 Fall Semester.

The University adds that if somebody on campus tests positive for COVID-19, they have areas where they can isolate those students.

Click here for the very latest from the University on its response to novel coronavirus pandemic. 

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