By Carly Herbert | News Editor
On Aug. 29, the ODU Fall 2020 Semester began, but things around campus are looking a little different this year. With the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting the United States, ODU’s administrators spent the summer deciding how to safely invite students back to campus.
The ODU Blueprint that was released on June 9th in a statement made by President Broderick addressing how the ODU community would be going about reopening for the fall 2020 semester. The blueprint explained the operations of reduced class sizes as well as information about hybrid class structure, where students can get both in-person and online instruction. For students who are attending in-person classes, face coverings are required while coming to, participating in, and leaving classes. They are also required when entering buildings, including dining locations and the Student Recreation Center.
The Housing and Residence Life Departments have allocated 3% of student housing to make up isolation and quarantine spaces, as well as partnering with nearby hotels to ensure that infected or exposed students have safe places to complete their isolation.
When visiting dining locations on campus, pay attention to the blue COVID-19 precautionary signs that can be found on the doors, stands, and even on the floor. It is recommended that students utilize takeout options and bring it back to their residence halls or an outdoor location. In the dining halls, tables and chairs have been rearranged to provide for physical distance as well as trying to minimize interactions by placing signs on the floor indicating one-way directional flow.
The Perry Library has also made arrangements to remain in accordance with Governor Northam’s policies. Face-coverings are required while in the building. Furniture has been removed to allow for six feet of distance between students, as well as to prevent gatherings of students that inhibit physical distancing. Plexiglass barriers have been put in place to keep both the staff and students safe.
As far as the Student Recreation Center, students who would like to visit the SRC must visit their website and register for a specific time slot. Upon arrival, they must show the staff that they have completed ODU’s Daily COVID check-in and received a green circle, showing they are not at risk for having COVID. Once admitted in, you’ll see that the equipment has been moved to allow for proper physical distancing. Masks are required in the facility, with the only exception being when participating in cardio exercises.
The University has put together the #ReignResponsibly campaign to keep students safe and informed while promoting the 3 W’s; wearing your mask, waiting six feet apart, and washing your hands. In order to care for yourself and for others, make sure you stay home if you’re feeling sick. For more information, visit odu.edu/covid19.