Central state welcomes students in person again with widespread testing plan

Random tests will be carried out throughout the semester.

“We’re a small university, we’re in a rural area, so we think we’re in a safe environment, especially with the plans we have in place,” Thomas said. “Our students want to come back to college and we’re delighted they want to come back.”

Many students and their families have expressed their desire to learn face-to-face, he said.

“In terms of being here, there’s a certain type of experience that you get here at Central State and the kind of home environment, a nurturing environment, that students need. I think that’s why they’re so excited to be here, ”Thomas said.

To exploreThe central state provides for compulsory tests for students

The resident assistants and pirate ambassadors returned to campus last week. Other upper class students will be arriving on campus this weekend.

The central state will limit private and public gatherings to a maximum of 10 people, the university said. Thomas said the university was distributing personal protective equipment kits to students.

The school has designated spaces where students will be quarantined if they become ill, he said.

Wendy Hayes, vice president of student affairs, said students were allowed to bring two family members to help them move in. Everyone was to have their temperature checked when they arrived on campus.

“The students are thrilled to be here,” said Hayes. “It’s a different normal, especially if they’ve been around their family and haven’t had to socially distance themselves from their home, but now have to distance themselves socially from their friends.”

Campus move-in activities have been adjusted to comply with security protocols. Activities planned throughout move-in days, including lunch and dinner, take place on staggered schedules to ensure students maintain social distancing.

Pirate Week, the annual orientation for new students arriving in Central State, will be virtual this year. This year’s event will take place live on Facebook with guest speakers, student spotlights and a message from Thomas.

“We are excited about the model that we have created to bring back students and we believe it will help us to be a safe university,” Thomas said.

The president said he felt safe as they would test everyone on the historically black university campus. It was important to test everyone on campus, he said, because of the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on minorities.

In an interview last week, Dr Karen Mathews, executive director of central state health and psychology services, echoed the sentiment.

“We looked at our population, which has certain vulnerabilities and risk factors, given the demographics of our students,” she said. “And we also learned from the experience of other universities that opened earlier than ours. And based on that, we chose to go ahead and do some more aggressive testing. “

“These are unprecedented times and there are uncertain times,” said Thomas, “but at the same time, we have the opportunity to do wonderful things here.”

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