Key COVID-19 Adaptations
President McPhee, Provost Byrnes and our leadership team put forward many changes in our operations and practices to prepare for a return to on-campus and in-person operations for the Fall 2020 semester. Here is a summary of those key decision points.
General campus operation
- Face coverings must be worn in all indoor areas, and outdoors if physical distancing restrictions are not able to be maintained
- Signage will provide instructions related to queuing, entry/exit, wearing of face coverings, occupancy, physical distancing, etc.
- Increased cleaning protocols for high touch areas and multi-use areas (classrooms, dining halls, etc.)
- Special cleaning protocols for areas that may have been contaminated by an active COVID case
- 40% of courses offered with some or all on-campus instruction; 40% of courses offered as completely on-line instruction. Remaining classes include internships, student teaching, dissertation hours, research, independent study, etc.
- All classrooms have been reconfigured to meet social distancing guidelines. Traditional event spaces, including the Student Union Ballroom, are being repurposed for classroom instruction.
- Consistent attendance policy across all classes, with provisions for illness or isolation requirements
- All classroom instruction may be captured via video technology for use by students who cannot come to class due to illness
- All sleeping rooms converted to private space
- There will be assigned check-in times staggered over five days to reduce density in lobbies, hallways, elevators.
- 5% of total bed spaces held for isolation/quarantine (100 beds)
- Visitation restricted to one MTSU student guest per resident; non-student guests restricted unless approved by staff
- Tables and chairs removed to reach social distancing guidelines of 6 feet between tables
- No self-service or buffet-style options; all food will be served or pre-packaged
- On-line ordering available through Grub Hub
- Touchless transactions instead of traditional meal card swiping
- Prepared to go to an entirely take-out menu if needed
- Separate entry for potential COVID patients. Both in-person and tele-heath appointments available to students
- Testing available for all students meeting CDC guidelines of symptomatic or close exposure. Expanding contracts with testing labs to facilitate faster results. Self-swab kits are becoming available.
- Pursuing purchase of Sophia 2 machine so that on-campus rapid testing can be conducted
- Contact tracing to be managed by medical staff in conjunction with local/state department of health
- Online reporting process for those with knowledge of active cases or exposure, to be evaluated by medical staff
Activities and events
- All events will meet social distancing guidelines
- Room/ballroom capacities reconfigured to meet social distancing guidelines
- Events restricted to university events only
- Student activities provided either on-line or in small groups, or outdoors while meeting social distancing guidelines
Mental health and academic support
- Both in-person and telehealth counseling available to students
- Both group and individual counseling available. Long term needs will be referred to off-campus providers, as always.
- On-line/virtual tutoring available.
- On-line/virtual academic advising available.
Conditions to Move From In-Person, On-Campus Restrictions for Fall 2020
- Any orders mandating campus closure/decreased campus operations/work from home by state or local public health officials/government would activate Immediate action to move totally online delivery
- Local and regional hospital/ICU capacity nears capacity, per public health officials
- On-campus isolation and quarantine rooms at full/near full capacity
- Case counts on campus significantly exceed county and/or regional case counts
- Absolute confirmed case counts rise to an unacceptable level in the county/region per public health officials
- Absentee rates from documented illness of MTSU faculty/staff/students exceed acceptable margins to continue on ground experience
Conditions to Relax In-Person, On-Campus Restrictions for Fall 2020
- Confirmation of decreased viral virulence or infectivity and/or development of improved treatment methods
- Widespread availability of immunization (safe vaccine)