(Photo courtesy UMass Lowell) To keep on-campus residents and staff safe, student centers at the university have adopted guidelines and protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
To keep on-campus residents and staff safe, student centers at the university have adopted guidelines and protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The Campus Recreation Center (CRC) and campus dining halls are still trying to keep university members safe by minimizing the spread of germs.
“I would hope that we all share the same goal of a healthy and safe campus, and that people make an extra effort to stay safe,” said Julie Nash, the vice provost of academic affairs. “If they have spent time recently in large gatherings, they need to be especially diligent about using the symptom checker and stay off-campus if they have even mild symptoms.”
At the Campus Recreation Center, students must keep their mask over their nose at all times. If a student has their mask under their nose or their mask is off completely, their ID number will be noted as a warning. If the student does it again, they will be asked to leave and will be referred to the conduct office. The facility also has cleaning supplies available, as staff and students are expected to clean equipment after use.
Director of the CRC, Peter Murray, says that the CRC staff consistently cleans equipment and ensures that masks are being worn correctly. “It’s still very challenging because the minute we turn our backs, people are pulling their masks down,” said Murray. “Yes we realize that, but we are constantly trying to address the issue.”
Dining halls have also tried to minimize the spread of germs. Some of the actions they have taken include hiring more workers to clean, installing plexiglass dividers and constantly changing out self-serving equipment.
No students have been reported for refusing to follow guidelines so far, and staff are helping by giving gentle reminders. “Certainly, with all the additional steps and plays, I think those are honestly going to be like that new normal,” said Rachel Digregorio, the marketing manager for the university dining.
Staff can now report students who refuse to wear a mask after already being given a warning. Students who come to campus must be vaccinated or must get tested regularly if exempted. Nash said that if a student does test positive, they must contact the Wellness Center. After doing so, they should email their professors and continue to complete classwork while quarantining. Students can get tested on campus if they are unvaccinated, have travelled off campus to other locations or came into contact with someone who has tested positive.