Health & safety at center of Fall operational plan
The University of West Alabama will begin the new academic year on Monday, Aug. 17. For the first time since mid-March, the school will hold classes on campus. An in-depth plan has been developed to guide daily operations with emphasis on health and safety in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We announced in May our optimistic intentions to resume on-campus operations with Fall Semester 2020, and we have worked very carefully to establish plans for a safe return,” said UWA President Ken Tucker. “The UWA Operational Plan includes the adjustments, modifications, prevention practices, and protocols necessary to ensure a safe, healthy environment. The plan is designed to assist new and returning students, their families, and our faculty and staff as we navigate the return to campus prior to the first day of classes on August 17.”
The plan has been steered by input and expertise from the major areas of campus, offering extensive detail and nearly 30 pages of guidance.
“We have developed this plan collaboratively across campus, maintaining the flexibility that has carried us successfully thus far,” Tucker said. “Classroom instruction, campus residences, work environments, extracurricular activities—these will all inevitably be different from what we knew when this calendar year began. But we also want to continue meeting the needs of a thriving campus community. We will maintain the health and safety protocols already in place, and we will follow the appropriate guidance in establishing any new protocols necessary.”
Requirements on campus are based on CDC and public health guidance as well as state mandates. These include distancing protocols, wearing face masks, limits on gathering, sanitizing, and other safety measures to help prevent community spread.
Additionally, all students taking classes on campus will be required to be tested for COVID-19 through a statewide partnership of colleges and universities in Alabama. The test will be provided at no cost to the student, and students will receive correspondence and updates through university email and notification systems.