We are excited to welcome all Bobcats back to campus this Fall. Because of the ongoing pandemic, this will not be business as usual. Please know that the health and safety of our community is our paramount priority.
This website features our plan for the Fall 2020 return to campus along with the latest information and updates.
You can find our latest message to students from President Dorman that includes detailed information about our campus reopening plans this fall. This website also has information on residential life and move-in details in addition to information on our virtual orientation for new students.
We are currently planning for fall 2020 instruction that will be face-to-face with social distancing and other mitigation measures recommended by the CDC. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff will always remain our top priority.
- Modified face-to-face classrooms with social distancing, hybrid learning options and alternative locations to minimize people density
- All common areas, labs, recreational facilities, classrooms and other locations on campus have been physically modified to ensure social distancing
- Plexiglass barriers have been erected in classrooms and other highly trafficked locations for additional mitigation
- Face masks will be required on campus and in all facilities, and wherever social distancing is not possible.
- Hand sanitizer stations have been installed across campus, and classrooms will be cleaned daily with additional supplies for students and faculty to use as needed
- Campus dining services are limited the number of students in the MAX and have introduced other mitigation measures, such as to-go boxes to avoid crowding
- Elevator use has been restricted and distance markers have been added to locations across campus to avoid crowds
- Classrooms will be cleaned daily, and we are stocking classrooms with sanitizing wipes so that the instructor and students can wipe down their work/study area if they desire.
- Our academic calendar has been revised to ensure learning continues while limiting the potential spread of COVID-19 by reducing travel to and from campus.
- A detailed campus reopening FAQ has also been published that provides additional information about our campus reopening plan and our response to COVID-19.
Be sure to check this website often for updates and additional information. Another great resource for information is Front Page, your source for daily campus news, updates and announcements and GC United.
Updates from President Dorman on safety procedures for the campus for Fall 2020.
Campus messages about updates and face-to-face reopening plans for Fall 2020.
To reduce risks associated with holiday travel, we have revised our academic calendar so that students will not return to campus after the Thanksgiving weekend. Fall semester will begin a few days earlier on Aug.12 and classes will end on Nov. 24. Final exams will take place online. Fall break has been removed and we are encouraging students to stay on campus and to avoid any unnecessary travel.
In an effort to prevent crowds and minimize people density in areas on campus, the Division of Student Life has been preparing programming related to campus life and student activities that will take place in a virtual environment for the fall. Face-to-face programming will be greatly reduced, and student clubs and organizations will conduct most of their activities virtually. Also, there will be no recreational sports for the fall semester to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 among our students.
The Division of Student Life has created a “Campus Coach Connections” program to help both new and returning students transition to campus life. Throughout the summer, Campus Coaches will engage students on a weekly basis to connect them to co-curricular programs and services and connect them with other Bobcats. At the start of the fall semester, Campus Coaches will engage with returning students as well to help ensure a smooth transition back to campus. All offices and services related to student affairs will remain open, although there will be an intentional effort to ensure social distancing is maintained.
We are planning for face-to-face, on-campus instruction with social distancing. Students can expect classroom settings to be reconfigured and section sizes to be reduced to allow for social distancing. We have brought some larger rooms on the schedule, and we are configuring them as classrooms to allow for more social distancing. Rotating class schedules and synchronous online teaching may also be implemented by faculty members to further reduce the number of students in labs and classrooms. In a limited number of cases, some classes may be taught entirely online while others will be augmented in a hybrid format using digital and online technologies. Faculty members will continue to work with any student that has been exposed to or becomes ill because of COVID-19 to ensure they can continue to make academic progress during periods of quarantining or self-isolation. Returning students should carefully review their class schedule in PAWS as class location changes may have occurred since spring registration activities.
Clinicals, Student Teaching, and Leadership
Regarding clinical, student teaching or internships, students must follow the provisions and requirements of the site where the clinical, student teaching or internship is being conducted. If the student is uncomfortable with the requirements of the site, they should contact their university coordinator. The University will work with sites and students on an individual basis to ensure that requirements are met in case of issues that arise.
Upon determination by the University System of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Public Health that the number of COVID-19 cases has made it so that the campus can no longer function safely, alternative plans will be enacted. Any alteration of current plans will be in coordination with the University System of Georgia.
Dining services at The Max will be open, although the number of admitted patrons will be limited to adhere to guidance regarding social distancing. There will be no self-service stations in The Max and disposable utensils will be used wherever possible. In addition, seating areas will be physically reconfigured to ensure spatial distancing is maintained. The University will also expand the grab-and-go options and prepare boxed meals to provide more options for students and to further minimize crowding in our dining areas. The Subway location on campus will be temporarily closed while Chick-fil-A will remain open with spatially reconfigured seating areas.
Effective July 15, 2020, all University System of Georgia institutions will require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities and buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Use of face coverings will be in addition to, and is not a substitute for, social distancing. Face coverings are not required in one’s own housing suite or residence hall, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.
Anyone not using a face covering when required will be asked to wear one or must leave the area. Repeated refusal to comply with the requirement may result in discipline through the applicable conduct code for faculty, staff or students. Reasonable accommodations may be made for those who are unable to wear a face covering for documented health reasons.
The University will provide up to two masks per each student who does not have their own.
Upon our return to campus in the fall, we are expecting all students, faculty and staff to follow the guidelines specified by the Georgia Department of Public Health and the CDC.
These guidelines currently include:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue or inside your elbow.
Parking and Transportation
In an effort to decrease ridership on our buses at any given time, there may be changes to our routes and schedules. Buses will be cleaned more often, and we encourage everyone to wear a mask at all times while on the bus. Riders will be urged to spread out on the bus.
The move-in process this fall will occur over several days (August 1-3 and 8-10) to stagger the arrival of students and decrease the likelihood of crowding. Families will select a move-in date and time using an online site that will be communicated shortly to incoming students. The Housing Office will communicate additional details regarding what to expect for the move-in process along with other considerations on packing supplies. In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, all community areas in the residence halls will be closed for the semester with the exception of laundry stations. Use of elevators will be limited and social distancing is advised at all times throughout the residence hall. Individual rooms will be considered personal spaces, shared by two students per room. Visitors to the residence halls will not be allowed for the fall semester. If any student becomes ill, he or she will be expected to self-quarantine and self-isolate from their home, not in the residence halls.
We are asking all students, faculty and staff to continue to maintain social distancing. This means, whenever possible, at least 6 feet of distance should be maintained from others, to avoid gathering in groups. In addition, we ask everyone to avoid handshaking and any other unnecessary person-to-person contact. We also advise against using other people’s phones, desks, office spaces or other personal items to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.
At this time there is no directive to offer testing to otherwise healthy students. Any student who gets sick or is exposed will consult with Student Health Services. If it is determined that a COVID-19 test is needed, then Health Services will arrange for the student to be tested at an appropriate testing site. We continue to monitor the Georgia Department of Public Health and CDC regarding testing requirements.
If you become sick during the semester, we ask that you notify your professors and do not go to class. You should immediately consult Student Health Services or your private physician. Student Health will determine if a COVID-19 test is warranted. If needed, they will direct you to the appropriate testing site and will direct you to self-isolate. If you are determined to be COVID 19 positive you must quarantine for 14 days. You will be asked to quarantine from your home, not on campus. During the quarantine period, upon notifying your professors, they will work with you to complete assignments from home. You may return to campus when student health determines you have either provided a note from a provider or that you have met the CDC guidelines to ending quarantine. Faculty will work with students during their quarantine period to adjust for assignments.
All students, faculty, and staff who have travelled outside of the country are advised to self-monitor for a period of 14 days in accordance with the CDC Guidelines. During this time, take your temperature twice a day and avoid contact with others, avoid public transportation, and maintain social distancing. If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, please contact our Health Services office at 478-445-5288.
The Wellness Center will be open although a number of preventative measures will be put in place. There will be more frequent cleaning schedules along with additional spacing to further separate workout equipment to facilitate social distancing. Contact sports will be eliminated, and we will limit the number of people using the Wellness Center at any given time.