After being sent home from college in the spring of 2020 and remaining primarily online until now, the question has constantly been asked, when will we be allowed back on campus? As of now, that’s looking like this fall. We hope to give some insight into what college life : COVID-19 edition will truly look like. The majority of colleges and universities across the United States are planning on allowing students back on campus this fall. However, there are going to be some significant regulations, most of them include PPE.
What is PPE?
In short, PPE, or Personal Protective Equipment, is any equipment that protects you from something in your environment. It can be gloves if you’re gardening or an apron when cooking; both things are technically PPE. Concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, the most common PPE options recommended and used are masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer.
What will campus life look like?
Most universities are doing their best to return to some semblance of normal in the fall. At East Carolina University, located in North Carolina, students will be allowed to return to living in the dorms on campus at the normal two-person per room capacity. Student dining and the recreation center will also be returning to full operations. However, there will still be additional regulations in place to keep students safe.
At East Carolina, classes will be returning to total capacity with face-to-face instruction, meaning that social distancing in the classroom will no longer be a thing. Despite social distancing being dropped for the fall, forms of PPE will still be required. Hand sanitizer stations will still be located at frequent intervals throughout campus. The university is also recommending that students keep personal disinfectant wipes to wipe down their area of the classroom.
Masks will also still be required when in close quarters, such as during class. They have yet to fully confirm whether or not students will be required to wear masks in areas like the gym and recreation center. Frequent testing and incentives for getting a vaccine are also being employed at this particular university.
College life : COVID-19 edition
At the University of Michigan, the campus will also be returning to semi-normal capacity. They will have nearly full dorms and open dining in addition to student recreation centers. Like East Carolina University, even though students are returning in almost total capacity, there will still be regulations to keep students safe.
Many of which include the use of PPE. Students will be required to use a face mask in all classrooms whether or not they choose to get vaccinated. This is primarily because social distancing will be virtually impossible in classrooms that are at full capacity. In most other areas of campus, students who have proof of being fully vaccinated will not be required to wear a mask.
This situation is reflected in the majority of universities in the USA. With the rate of vaccination amongst college students continuing to climb and some universities giving incentives to fully vaccinated students, it’s expected that we will not experience another large outbreak at colleges.
PPE should continue
In short, despite COVID-19 levels dropping and university capacity increasing, PPE will still be a part of students’ lives for at least the next semester, if not longer. Many universities will be providing PPE kits to students to encourage its use. By using PPE, students will ensure that they have the best possible university experience and stay there for the whole year.