Will residence halls be open in the fall?
Residence halls will open with normal occupancy standards and social distancing. The number of residents will not be limited below unit occupancy. Students will be encouraged to observe preventative actions and talk with their roommates about expectations for health and safety.
What steps are being taken to ensure student safety in residence halls?
- Housing and Residence Life is taking many steps to comply with CDC and state guidelines:
- Housing and Residence Life will create a supplement to the Guide to Community Living to address community living considering the circumstances of the pandemic.
- Housing and Residence Life will create a Safety and Security Addendum to the housing contract that students will sign upon checking into their room assignment. The addendum will require students to agree to and understand new implemented policies to community living.
- For Fall 2020, Housing will restrict all visitation in residence halls. Each person who enters any residence hall building or community will be required to scan their Jaguar ID Card (JagCard). This scan will identify students who live in that community.
- Social distancing standards will apply to all public spaces within residence halls including laundry rooms, study rooms, community rooms, computer labs, and kitchens.
How is move-in going to work?
- Housing and Residence Life will employ a socially distanced move-in process for all resident students similar to the move-out process we facilitated in spring 2020. Students will be assigned a move-in time via our Housing electronic portal.
- Housing and Residence Life will limit appointments per hour and per hall/building. Volunteers will assist with sanitizing carts and high-touch areas during the move-in process, and these individuals will receive training and appropriate PPE provisions for the task.
- Housing move-in will span one week (August 3-7). Similar to spring 2020 move-out, students will be limited to 2 guests to assist them with moving in.
- We encourage students to bring only essential items (i.e. bed linens, towels/washcloths, school supplies, laundry materials, shower curtain and toiletries, toilet paper/paper towels, and clothing for warm weather as they can go home to change out between seasons) to campus. Students should also bring items related to personal health and safety such as cleaning supplies, masks/face coverings, and a personal supply of hand sanitizer.
Should vulnerable students live in the residence halls?
- Augusta University does not recommend that vulnerable students live in the residence halls. Students who are considered to be at a higher risk for severe illness as defined by the Georgia Department of Public Health should carefully consider whether or not moving into a residence hall is the appropriate option for them.
Is Housing increasing cleaning and sanitation efforts?
- Yes, Housing and Residence Life is introducing more stringent sanitation procedures. All cleaning and disinfecting procedures will be in accordance with Center for Disease Control and Georgia Department of Public Health guidelines.
- Some changes include:
- The University Village (UV) clubhouse will be cleaned and sanitized on a daily basis.
- The UV main lobby and computer lab will have a hand sanitizing station.
- High-touch areas in all residence halls (including elevator buttons, egress bars, keyless entry stations, door handles, lobby restrooms, laundry rooms, front desk counters, electronic signature pads, lobby tables, and computer lab/print stations) will be cleaned at least four times a day and recorded for quality assurance.
- Oak and Elm Halls will have a hand sanitizer station in each main lobby and place stations on each floor at the elevator landing lobby.
- COVID-19 prevention supplies will be provided in common areas. This includes soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol, facial tissues, and trash baskets.
Will it be mandated for all students to be tested initially for COVID-19 before they are allowed on campus?
At this time, there are no plans for all students to be tested before they may return to campus.
Can accommodations be provided for vulnerable populations of students?
The vulnerable population is defined through the CDC. Students who have these certain medical conditions should contact the Office of Testing and Disability Services to inquire about alternative education arrangements. Students will need to provide medical documentation of their diagnosis in order to begin the request process. Testing and Disability Services will assist students in informing faculty of their immune-compromised status. Additional information regarding alternative education arrangements can be found on the Testing and Disability Services website:
Please keep in mind that AU is taking all necessary precautions to mitigate risk, such as maintaining social distancing, frequently disinfecting classes and other common areas, and requiring the use of a face covering while inside buildings on campus. AU will work with students to provide accommodations for in-class lectures whenever possible, however alternatives to in-class lectures and/or labs are not always possible.
Are there restrictions for returning to campus from certain countries and/or regional hotspots?
- Anyone returning from outside the U.S. and/or a regional hotspot for any reason – personal travel or otherwise – may be required to self-quarantine at home for 14 days and may be required to be tested for COVID-19 before being permitted back on campus, either for work or for study.
- Faculty, staff and students who engage in travel outside of the US and/or to a regional hotspot and do not adhere to the requirement to self-quarantine may be subject to corrective action.
What if an on-campus resident tests positive for COVID-19?
- In alignment with university guidelines, resident students who test positive for COVID-19 should leave campus immediately and return to their permanent residence whenever possible. Students must remain off campus until they are able to meet guidelines for return outlined in the Student Health & Safety FAQs.
- If a resident student who has tested positive for COVID-19 is unable to leave campus, Housing and Residence Life will take the following steps:
- The resident student will be moved to an isolation room in Elm Hall.
- Partner with Student Health and Student Counseling & Psychological Services to monitor the student’s health.
- Partner with Campus Dining to provide food service for the student.
- Direct its cleaning service of the occupied isolation room so they can plan to clean and sanitize the room once it is vacated.
If the university transitions to online instruction due to COVID-19 in Fall 2020, will resident students be required to move out and what would be the process?
Currently, the university plans for resident students to remain in on-campus housing even if we must transition to online instruction due to COVID-19. The university will continue to collaborate closely with the Georgia Department of Public Health and the University System of Georgia in making these decisions.
Will dining areas be open?
- Opening our dining facilities in a safe manner for the fall will be imperative. All dining facilities will open in accordance with social distancing requirements. The following procedures will be observed:
- Social Distance Occupancy
- Atrium Dining Hall – 150 people max
- JSAC – 200 people max
- Ed Commons & Allgood Hall – N/A
- Harper St. – 40 people max
- Changes in delivery or meal options
- Atrium Dining Hall – Self-serve items [salad bar, waffle maker, etc.] replaced with prepared options
- JSAC – N/A
- Ed Commons & Allgood Hall – N/A
- Harper St. – N/A
- Social Distance Occupancy
Are students required to wear masks/face coverings?
Effective July 15, 2020, all students are required to wear an appropriate mask/face covering while inside Augusta University facilities/buildings. Mask/face covering use will be in addition to and is not a substitute for social distancing. Masks/face coverings are not required in one’s own residence hall room or suite, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.
What if a student is not able to wear a mask/face covering due to a medical condition?
A student unable to wear a mask/face covering due to a medical condition must contact the Office of Testing & Disabilities Services with medical documentation of their diagnosis to request an exemption from the mask/face covering requirement. The Office of Testing and Disability Services will assist students in informing faculty of their status.
Will masks/face coverings be required on shuttles?
Yes; as shuttles are small, enclosed spaces, masks/face coverings are required for drivers and riders. For students/employees who do not have a mask/face covering, one will be provided for them to wear on the shuttle.