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COVID concerns as LSU students prepare for move-in day

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BATON ROUGE – LSU's incoming students will begin moving into their dorms Saturday, August 15 and university officials say they're on track to host a safe move-in experience for all 7,000 students.

They've prepared an organized response to COVID-19, the illness that's impacted the entire globe and become deadly to some. In following state, federal, and CDC guidelines, university officials hope to prevent further spread of the illness within the LSU Community. 

To limit interaction between those on campus, LSU has arranged for groups of students to move in only at their assigned dates and times. The move-in process, which has typically been only one day long, will be extended and is scheduled to end on August 23.

The plan is to begin with Residence Hall move in's from August 15-19 and then on August 20-23 those students living in on-campus apartments will have the chance to get situated.

Each student is allowed to bring two individuals total to assist with their move and they will have a maximum of two hours to get settled. Groups with too many people will be asked to exit the staging area (located on River Road, Lot 412) and come back with the appropriate number of guests. Students and guests must get a wristband at the River Road staging area for entry into the residence halls and apartments.

Typically, LSU requires that all first-year students who live outside of a 50 mile radius of campus move into a dorm or on-campus apartment. Those who would prefer to live off-campus must make a special request to be exempt from that requirement. 

WBRZ asked LSU's Bill Mattera, Director of Residential Life and Education, whether or not the university had seen an uptick in the number of students who'd requested special exemption so as to live off-campus during the current COVID-19 health crisis. 

Mattera said, "A lot of folks made choices for their families and so I think we've seen a number of exemptions of folks saying, "Look I just don't feel comfortable." And so we want to be supportive of that as much as we can. We are fuller than we've been for a long time. So, I think we're seeing folks certainly take that opportunity to take the exemption. But I don't think it's been a higher than usual number." 

LSU says they also have plans in place to address the situation should a students in a dorm discover they've been infected with novel coronavirus. The student will be place in isolation in accord with those plans. 

Move in is part of LSU Welcome Week, the final phase of orientation to LSU. This exciting event takes place right before the semester begins so that students can be completely comfortable and prepared to start their experience at LSU.

Football is another key aspect of life in the LSU community, and many are wondering what football will look like in the upcoming season. 

The SEC has yet to make an official decision on the football season, but the NCAA's president announced Thursday that there won't be any championships this fall because there aren't enough schools participating. 

Texas A&M said Thursday that fans can expect a finalized game schedule next week, which many mean LSU's fans can expect something similar next week. 

However, the final decision rests with the SEC as to whether or not the Tigers will play this fall and if they do, exactly what those games will look like. 

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