SHEBOYGAN — Colleges and universities face unique challenges when it comes to COVID-19. With the added responsibility of keeping its students safe in residence halls, dining halls and throughout campus life, here is how one local campus is managing.
How is Lakeland University handling COVID-19?
Prior to move-in Aug. 23-25, Lakeland conducted COVID-19 testing at no cost to all students and employees who will be taking classes, living or working on campus.
"Testing everyone who will be part of the main campus bubble this fall allows us to have a baseline that will help us as we strive to keep main campus open," the university's reopening plan states.
Students with co-ops or off-campus jobs are still permitted to leave campus at this time, but all students and employees have been advised to avoid any "necessary outings and gatherings."
As of Monday, Sept. 28, Lakeland University reported the following from its COVID-19 testing:
Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be rehoused in the Suites, where Suite 10 and 11 have been identified as self-isolation units. There are four self-isolation units in each suite, and all are pre-stocked with essentials including bath tissue and soap, linens, garbage bags, a desk phone and a desk-top computer. A microwave and refrigerator will be provided per suite.
Students will be able to bring a tv, gaming units, personal computers, toiletries and two weeks worth of clothing into the suite. Campus safety will deliver meals to a designated area. Students in isolation will be monitored via email, phone call, text/survey app or web-based meetings.
Once a student has been cleared by a medical professional and free of any symptoms for 72 hours without medication, they will be cleared and able to return to their resident hall. All of their clothes must be washed and personal belongings must be disinfected. Once the isolation unit has been existed, it will undergo a disinfectant treatment process.
Meal times will be extended to accommodate schedules, and there will be a new traffic flow in and out of the dining area. Tables will be set up six feet apart with limited seats at each table. After dinner, a thorough cleaning will occur, meaning the area will be closed until breakfast the following morning. To-go food is available for those who do not want to eat in the Campus Center. The Muskie Mart will be opened for extended hours and carry pre-made subs and salad. Occupancy will be limited.
Until further notice, the shuttle will service only essential routes, which includes co-op and off campus jobs within Sheboygan County, all medical facilities within the county, Walgrees, CVS, Walmart, Target and other food runs made through drive-thru or curbside pickup scheduled in advance.
Classrooms have been set to half capacity, and students will sit six feet apart. Some classes have been moved to a face-to-face and virtual instruction hybrid, and other have been moved to a future semester. The Wehr Center field house, Bradley Theatre and event space in the Younger Family Campus Center are also being used for some classes.
New common spaces were created for students by combining the Pub and the Daily Grind on the first floor of the Campus Center. A tent has also been installed just outside just allow for people to safely gather outdoors and others will be set up across campus.
Family members are encouraged to ship items to students. Those wishing to visit must wear a face covering and social distance themselves from other on campus. Non-Lakeland visitors are not permitted in any campus residential facilities, so all visits must take place in the designated areas which include courtyards, outdoor seating areas and common areas in the Younger Family Campus Center.
Residential students are allowed one visitor at a time per dorm room and two visitors at a time per apartment from within the same residence hall or apartment building. Students from the same hall or apartment can congregate in common spaces as long as masks and social distancing are implemented. All overnight guest visitation in residential buildings has been suspended until further notice. It is recommended that students do not leave campus overnight unless necessary. Those needing to leave will need to be approved by a hall director and will receive guidance regarding returning to campus.
Student activities will continue as planned with masks and social distancing. Organizations are encouraged to use virtual meetings whenever possible.
The Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference announced that all conference regular-season athletic competitions through Dec. 31, 2020, have been postponed.