Lee University officials preparing for the return of its students to campus in two weeks are balancing two questions: how can we keep our neighbors safe from COVID-19 with students coming in from other states, and how can we keep our new campus residents as safe as possible living together?
While precautions and policies have been released regarding student safety, Lee’s COVID-19 task force has released a set of guidelines for campus visitors this week addressing community safety.
“We love sharing this campus with our neighbors,” said Dr. Brad Moffett, vice president for University Relations, “but to safeguard their health and safety and that of our campus, we need their help. We’ve set up some guidelines for visitors to campus that closely mirror our expectations for students and employees, and we are asking community members who are enjoying our grounds and facilities to follow these precautions.”
The university rolled out the community initiative in a local radio interview Wednesday morning with Dr. Moffett and Director of Community Relations Bethany McCoy. The pair described some of the changes that would take place effective immediately.
Excluding weddings already reserved and the election on Aug. 6, all events of community groups in campus facilities will be cancelled through Labor Day.
Until further notice, the university requests that community members exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms - such as cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, sore throat, and/or loss of taste and smell - refrain from coming on campus.
According to Dr. Moffett, Lee is also requesting that all visitors to campus wear a mask when in the presence of others and unable to properly maintain adequate social distancing (at least six feet). This includes, but is not limited to indoor buildings, open green spaces, and outdoor dining areas. Because of this request, it would be helpful for people who come to campus to plan to wear a mask or have it with them, since it is difficult to anticipate situations in which they would be required.
The outdoor volleyball and basketball courts will also be closed for the time being, and the tennis courts will be available only by reservation through the Rec Center by calling 614-8451.
In addition to a mask mandate and social distancing for all staff and students, the university is taking several other measures around campus. This includes additional daily cleanings of each building, plexiglass shields installed for employees in high traffic areas, and signage posted to help with traffic flow and distancing.
Courses will be offered in hybrid formats with distanced and assigned seating of students in all in-person classes. Temperature checking stations will be located at the entrance of each building and employees and students will monitor their health through the use of a health screen app, which will clear them for work and class daily. On-campus students will also be provided a safe place to quarantine, if needed, until cleared by campus health officials.
“We look forward to reopening for our fall semester and appreciate the community’s help in making our return to campus safe and comfortable,” said Dr. Moffett.
Lee’s Admissions Office will continue to conduct campus visits for prospective students and their families, while asking their guests to abide by the new guidelines. Anyone wishing to schedule a visit may contact email@example.com or 614-8500.
For more information or questions about the new community initiative, please contact the Office of Community Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.