Central Virginia campuses reopen with new safety measures

Updated: Aug. 14, 2020 at 4:48 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - First-year students at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond began arriving on campus Friday as part of the school’s new program to stagger new arrivals.

In the midst of a health crisis, this year’s move-in was unlike any other.

“We had to get a wristband, and we had to clock in. They gave us all hand sanitizer and stuff,” said VCU freshman Mitchell Keplinger.

The university left no stone unturned to ensure a safe move, even going as far as limiting the number of helpers per student.

“Normally, I’d be able to meet a lot more people, so it’ll just be figuring out how to do that and stay further away than normal,” said Charlotte Davis, who was also moving in on Friday.

VCU isn’t alone in these precautions, other local schools like Virginia Union University and Virginia State University - which have new student move-in on Aug. 19 and Sept. 2, respectively, will also require similar rules like designated time slots, and face coverings for people going in and out of the dorms.

But even with all the precautions put in place, an event like this lends itself to a high volume of people.

“It could’ve been a little more social distanced than it was. It felt like a lot of people were just not paying too much attention to the regulations,” freshman Alexandra Newton said

Concerns from other students - and even parents - extend past move-in day.

“I’m a little nervous about not being able to go out and going into other people’s dorms and everything. That’s the one thing I’m kind of upset about,” Jake Crane said.

“I’m excited that he’s able to go to college, but at the same time it’s like I want him to have that full experience, so I am a little bit worried about the pandemic,” his mother, Candace Baker, said.

At U of R, all students had to set up an appointment in advance, allotting three hours for the entire process to be completed. One hour dedicated to testing for COVID-19, the other two hours for the physical move-in procedure.

If a student shows symptoms or has a temperature of over 100 degrees, then that student will be asked to leave campus. However, if a student is unable to leave, they will be provided a 14-day quarantine room.

Face masks are required at all times on campus, except in private dorm rooms. Roommates are not allowed to move in at the same time.

New student move-in will continue Aug. 14-16. Returning students will be welcomed Aug. 19-21. The first day of classes begins on Sept. 7.

Find more on the changes the University of Richmond is making for the school year here.

More information for Virginia Union University’s guidelines can be found here.

Virginia State University’s reopening plan can be found here.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.

Submit a news tip.