VSU plans return for fall amid COVID-19 padnemic

VSU plans for fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Valdosta State Univesity (VSU) hosted an online forum to announce plans for returning to campus in the fall.

Students will be returning to VSU on Aug. 17 for the fall semester. College life for them will be looking very different. It will be mandatory for all students to wear masks on campus.

“We want to say to all of our students, faculty and staff, please be considerate of the health of your fellow Blazers and wear a mask. If we do have people, and we may, who are resistant to that, we will begin by asking them please put on a mask. We are providing masks for a lot of people this fall. But if people flat out refuse to do that, there will certainly be penalties through the student code of conduct and human resources,” said Dr. Robert Smith, VSU provost and vice president of academic affairs.

Campus Services to housing concerns were among the topics in Wednesday’s town hall forum. University officials went over student and parents questions. They shared details about what the new college life will be like.

An inside look at a lab at VSU.
An inside look at a lab at VSU. (Source: WCTV)

“The classroom experience itself will also be rather different than what you have seen before,” said Smith

Starting with in-person lectures, classes will follow a hybrid plan. Some days in person and others virtual. Seating will be socially distanced and limited capacity. Officials said it will vary in the class. Lab, clinical and hands-on classes will be in person. There will be testing alternatives since full classes will be unable to meet in one space. All classrooms and surfaces will be cleaned by staff every evening.

Stairwell and entrances will have guides and arrows for one-ways. There will be hand sanitation stations across the campus.

Dining rooms will be limited capacities. There will be markings on the floors for distancing and no self-serving.

“We are planning to return to fall sports. I know our football team just came back to campus and started workouts,” said Dr. Rodney Carr, VSU vice president of student success.

Sports are back, but games will look different. There will be reduced crowds and masks are required. There will be tailgates but people must abide by social distancing guidelines.

The Valdosta State University Blazers.
The Valdosta State University Blazers. (Source: WALB)

If a student is sick, VSU officials said they should stay home and seek medical help. The student health center on campus can do COVID testing but it’s limited. Students must have symptoms. It will be rapid testing with immediate results.

If someone in the university tests positive, they must notify the school immediately. Contracting tracing will be done.

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