Lyon College was one of the few colleges or universities in the South to hold virtual-only classes during the fall of 2020. Administrators are preparing for students to return to campus during the spring semester, Lyon College President W. Joseph King said Thursday (Oct. 1).
“I want to take a moment to laud your resilience as we have endured this strange and difficult time. We did not want a virtual fall semester, yet you prepared and adapted, making this the best virtual semester possible at Lyon College,” he said. “While we have persevered, I recognize we are all eager to return to campus life, even if it’s in a new normal. I want to assure you that we expect to be in residence for the spring 2021 semester.”
The school appointed a COVID-19 task force and has taken a number of steps to ensure student safety on campus. It examined the best practices of other institutions that decided to open this fall. One change will be the creation of additional quarantine space.
Task force members have arranged for a team of three registered nurses and a COVID Coordinator position to manage testing and contact tracing. It has also entered a partnership with the COVID Health Project to ensure the college has accurate and ample COVID-19 tests available for students, faculty, and staff for the spring semester.
It will conduct campuswide COVID-19 testing for faculty, staff, and any students remaining on campus, which the college intends to do again in segments when students return. Campus members will use the CampusClear app to screen themselves daily.
Social distancing, mask wearing and other protocols will be implemented and PPE will be readily available. Planned safety renovations to dining areas such as Edwards Commons and the Salty Dog Coffee Shop, which will be complete by the spring semester.
“Those are just a few of the actions we’ve taken to prepare for students’ return. More are in the works. As always, our goal is to bring everyone back to a safe learning and living environment, and we will adapt as necessary to this ever-changing situation. Nevertheless, we are ready to face this new normal together, on campus, as the Lyon community,” King said.