From Coast to Coast: COVID-19 Protocol at U.S. Colleges and Universities

Albion College Student Lauryn Givens, a junior from, Macomb, Mich., takes all necessary safety precautions before leaving her dorm room. COVID-19 precautions are taken seriously by Albion’s campus as well as campuses across the country (photo by Caitlyn-Rae L. Arendse).

All over the country, college students, faculty and staff are in the midst of one of the most confusing and difficult semesters of their lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Colleges throughout the United States have implemented different procedures and regulations in an effort to still host in-person learning in the midst of the pandemic.

On the East Coast: New York University

New York University (NYU) announced an improved extended and multi-layered symptomatic and contact testing plan geared to eliminate positive COVID-19 cases on campus. According to campus regulations, if students or someone close to them has tested positive for COVID-19, they must immediately contact the campus response team. 

The response team is geared to provide immediate medical precautions and asks any one who feels they have symptoms of COVID-19 to fill out an online COVID reporting form. Following the form, NYU states that the university will still ask students to complete testing twice if they live on campus and once if they live off campus.

NYU said that all students must take the test, as it is required in order to enter any school-owned building.

In the South: Dallas Baptist University

Dallas Baptist University (DBU), a small Christian university located in Texas, has been ranked a top tier school despite the national pandemic. According to Dallas Baptist’s website, the university has been preparing the school for returning students since March.

DBU reported that a percentage of students who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the semester have since recovered. Those students were subsequently approved by Health Services and Student Affairs team to return to campus. 

As of Sept. 11, there were 31 active coronavirus cases reported on DBU’s campus. All of the exposed students have been asked to remain in a 14-day quarantine period, where the university assures they are receiving care and support.

In the Midwest: Illinois College

Illinois College adopted its Hilltop READY Plan for the Fall 2020 Semester. The college aims to ensure that all students remain safe and on-track for graduation. 

On its website, the college stated that it will be adhering to all local, state and federal laws imposed to help stop COVID-19. and in accordance is  offering hybrid online or in-class options for learning, as well as adjust classrooms to follow Hilltop READY models.

In addition to precautions and renovations, The Chesley Health and Wellness Center of Illinois College is another strong force on campus in giving aid to any protective and medical services needed on campus.

On the West Coast: University of South Carolina

As students decide to go out and participate in outdoor activities to combat the increasing boredom they face in their dorm rooms, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health declared that all University of South California Students who participate in prohibited outdoor activities, which include parties and all social gatherings, might be facing a fine of up to $1,000 and possible jail time.

Following steps to ensure cleanliness to leave public areas is encouraged in schools nationwide. Hand-washing and masks are some of the few items that are deemed essential to being safe during the pandemic (Photo by Caitlyn-Rae Arendse).

The university required all students to complete at least one initial COVID-19 test within seven days before they arrived on campus. USC then described its plan for testing, using a method the university calls “Pop-Testing.” Pop-Testing will allow for tests of students and faculty who did not test positive to be re-tested in case of a sudden emergence of COVID-19 symptoms.

USC urges students to check their emails daily, as circumstances may change.

Out In the Islands: Hawaii Pacific University

Students at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) are participating in hybrid learning environments. 

The university says that COVID-19 cases and percentage of community positive cases are down, but they are making sure to play it safe.They have implemented a new COVID testing plan, and the requirement of wearing facial masks in public.

“I appreciate everyone’s patience as we move through this month, and I’m so pleased to be able to share that the many protocols and precautions that have been in place this semester have helped us to stay very healthy as a community,” said President of Hawaii Pacific, John Y. Gotanda, via the University’s website. 

Gotanda  has been urging students to follow all guidelines so their  campus can regain full in class sessions.

“I deeply appreciate all that you and our HPU ‘Ohana are doing to care for one another during this challenging time. Let’s continue to lean on one another and do our part to keep Hawai‘i safe and healthy,” said Gotanda.

1 Comment

  1. Hi,
    I like the comprehensive roundup of some schools that aren’t making national headlines and to see how some smaller schools are handling this, or not. (Please fix the sub-headline to read Southern California, not South Carolina)

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