UGA prepares for start of class next week with new safety protocols

UGA prepares for start of class next week with new safety protocols
Students and university employees demonstrate new social distancing measures inside common areas at the Tate Student Center. (Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA) (Andrew Davis Tucker/Andrew Davis Tucker)

ATHENS, Ga. — The University of Georgia has released images of new safety precautions that will be in place when classes resume next week.

Most classes will be held in-person, but professors have been trained to quickly pivot to online instruction if they need to.

Images posted to UGA's Facebook page show plexiglass barriers installed at professor's podiums and at library counters, changes to student traffic flow and new social distancing protocols in cafeterias and common areas.

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From plexiglass barriers to face coverings to increased social distance, here are some of the ways campus will look different when classes resume next week.

Posted by University of Georgia on Thursday, August 13, 2020

In classrooms, seats are marked to indicate safe distances between students. Classrooms will be disinfected daily.

The university has also installed hand sanitizing stations and is requiring all students and staff to wear masks inside where social distancing is not possible.

Students moving into residence halls Friday will find new safety measures as well. Some furniture has been removed from common areas, vinyl stickers have been placed on the floor to mark proper social distancing, and hand-sanitizing stations have been installed at every entrance, elevator lobby, kitchen, laundry room and study lounge.

Officials said shared bathrooms will also be disinfected three times a day.

UGA buses will be sanitized every night with disinfecting spray. During normal hours of operation, everyone will have to wear face masks and board via the back entrance of the bus. Occupancy will be reduced and routes have been made shorter. Plexiglass barriers will protect bus drivers.

“What we’ve attempted to do is manage risk responsibly,” UGA President Jere Morehead said in a webinar on Aug. 4. “In my view, we can’t afford to fail as we enter this final stage of reopening.”

UGA confirms nearly 150 cases of COVID-19 among students, staff