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LSU staying open Wednesday, monitoring storm for potential Thursday closure

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BATON ROUGE - School is officially back in session for LSU students for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak. 

The first day of classes was supposed to begin on Monday, but there was a delay due to Hurricane Marco. Though classes resumed just one day later, there are still several safety measures being enforced campus-wide. 

"We got to wear masks everywhere. We have to be careful about who we are around and what we're doing," freshman Regina Grill said.

There are signs plastered on campus to remind students to mind their space. Any class larger than 100 students will be virtual, and smaller classes will be in bigger buildings in order to ensure social distancing.

"There will be fewer students in the classrooms. We're at 50-percent capacity and they'll be spread around the room. There will be hand sanitizers available for them, and they will have wipes," provost Stacia Haynie said.

For those who feel like they have COVID-19 symptoms, interim President Tom Galligan says they have several rapid testing pods available on campus.

"We can do up to 5,000 tests right now and we'll have another lab available in September. So I'm really confident in our capacity," Galligan said.

Contact tracing will also be a focus as school leaders continue their efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

"We'll also track the students around a positive case. So, if they come in close contact with other students we will ask them to provide those names," Haynie said

Campus life is not exactly what new students would have imagined this time last year, and many are urging their classmates to respect health guidelines.

"Be careful and be smart about what you're doing. Especially in college. People want to party. Just stay safe," Grill said.

LSU will be closed again Wednesday due to concerns over Hurricane Laura.

Theres also a big change to the academic calendar: LSU students will not return to school after Thanksgiving break. Instead, everything will be online from then onward, including their final exams.

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