At the end of July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a series of guidelines to colleges and universities on how to prepare for COVID-19. We took a look at what institutions of higher education are doing in the early weeks of the fall semester.
Testing at Alabama A&M University (AAMU) began August 5. According to Dr. Gary Crosby, vice president for student affairs, AAMU is participating in a program administered by The University of Alabama at Birmingham that provides free COVID-19 testing for every college student attending a public 4-year or 2-year college in the state before entering campus.
AAMU also said that its student health center is expected to launch an app that will provide tracking. The app will also allow daily health checks and temperature input that give clearance for the day.
Howard University president Wayne A. I. Frederick sent an open letter to the university community on Aug. 7. Frederick said that after consultation with public health faculty, District of Columbia officials, university leadership, and monitoring the pandemic they made the decision to move all undergraduate courses for the fall 2020 semester fully online, and non-residential.
Morgan State University also shifted to remote-only instruction for the fall semester.
“The University’s Board of Regents convened a special meeting to evaluate the feasibility of reopening in light of the inherent challenges of managing the health and safety of the campus community and the financial impact of altering the current direction, before ultimately deciding to support the University leadership’s appeal for all instruction to be conducted remotely,” the statement read.
Classes at Norfolk State University began virtually August 26. Starting Sept. 8, classes at the Virginia-based institution are expected to continue in-person, hybrid, remote, or online.
As of Aug. 27, more than 1,300 students were said to be living in residence halls at Florida A&M University. “Things went smoothly,” said Housing Office Director Jennifer Wilder, Ed.D. in a statement.“The students arrived and we are working with them to keep everyone safe and healthy.”