ATLANTA — Spelman College on Wednesday released its plan for reopening the campus in the fall, describing it as a "low-density hybrid model" incorporating both in-person and on-campus learning.
The plan lays out a four-phase approach, ultimately providing an outline for gradually returning to normal in fall 2021.
The first phase was completed in June, the school said, and largely involved planning aspects ahead of students returning to classes in the fall, such as obtaining PPE to distribute to students, setting up a testing program and creating informational signage.
Phase II will begin on Aug. 1, ahead of the semester, and is described in the plan as the "Cautious Phase." It is set to run until Jan. 31. Some of its provisions include:
- In-person classes for first-year students only; faculty may elect to teach courses online
- Online classes for everyone else
- Maximum of 640 students, primarily first-year, in residence halls, which will close at the end of finals
- Single occupancy rooms
- First-year students may apply for exemption from housing requirement and take classes online; applies to ROTC students as well
- firm physical distancing and health and safety protocols, including temperature checks, daily symptom self-monitoring and a universal mask/face covering requirement.
Additionally, before the school year begins all students will have to complete COVID-19 "awareness and precautions training modules online" and those returning to campus will need to provide a negative coronavirus test.
Students on campus who test positive, and possibly students exposed to the person who tests positive, will then have to undergo a 14-day quarantine. Those who are quarantined will be assigned a room in MacVicar Hall.
Temperature checks and other symptom self-assessment protocols are outlined in the plan.
As for masks, they will be required when "in contact with others."
"Any person on the campus will be required to wear a mask/face covering over the nose and mouth when in contact with others, practice hand hygiene, maintain 6-foot physical distancing, and observe all other safety protocols as indicated by public health guidelines and campus signage," the plan states.
The third phase, described as the "Moderate" Phase, will run from Feb. 1 - July 31, 2021, will increase residence availability to 1,000 students, primarily first-year students and graduating seniors. "Classroom density will be controlled by rotating groups of enrolled students," the plan states.
The final "Liberal" Phase would begin on Aug. 1, 2021, will only be ushered in if the threat of COVID-19 is contained or a vaccine is available.
"The phased plan contemplates the possibility of reverting to a previous phase should there be a sustained spike or second wave in virus spread or should there be a worrisome outbreak on campus," the plan states. "If conditions improve or a vaccine becomes available, Spelman may be able to move to Phase IV sooner."
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