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Wednesday, June 17, 2020
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State Publishes College Reopening Guide

Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! On Wednesday, the Ministry of Education issued introductory guidelines on how to reopen the colleges after the Covid 19 pandemic, so that the colleges in the districts marked in yellow can resume the limited full-time instruction and other activities that begin on Friday.

Schools that wish to resume their activities, regardless of the phase of the opening of the neighbourhood, must develop a health and safety plan and make it available to the public, students, teachers and staff before resuming the activities.

According to the handbook, the plans should include strategies for the safe resumption of classroom teaching, monitoring the state of health on campus, mitigating the effects of the virus and providing timely information to students, teachers and staff. The plans should also take into account hygiene practices, how to implement social distance on the campus and attendance requirements for students, teachers and staff, as well as for those at high risk of VIDOC-19.

Pitt spokesman Kevin Zwick said the university will review the textbook when it prepares its plans for the fall semester.

We are reviewing this new handbook as we continue our planning based on our determination to continue our mission as circumstances change, not only in the coming months but also in the years to come, said Zwick.

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said Pitt will announce plans for the fall for teachers and staff earlier this month, with more comprehensive plans to be published in early July.

The government manual contains many recommendations for reopening the colleges while maintaining a safe environment for the members of the community. Universities should restrict access to student offices, prohibit non-constructive meetings of more than 25 people in the yellow phase and 250 people in the green phase, and reduce the number of seats in large public spaces on campus, including cafeterias and libraries.

Schools should also regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and parts of the face that are worn in all public places on campus, the manual states. Pitt officials said she was considering distributing a mask to workers and two to students for use on campus.

The handbook also states that students, teachers and staff should maintain a social distance of at least 1.80 m between them wherever possible and that student groups are encouraged to organise events, meetings and group gatherings at a distance. Students living in university residences are advised to wear a protective cover and avoid communal areas. The living areas should also restrict access to the buildings for visitors and non-essential staff. The state also recommends that housing be reserved for students in quarantine exposed to COVID-19 and confirmed cases.

Mr Zwick said he did not have immediate answers to specific questions, but clarified that the handbook would be part of Pitt’s opening process.

All the issues raised will be addressed in this process and we expect a first answer to these and many other questions in the near future, according to Zwick. The result will not be a single response, but a series of flexible responses that allow us to take actions that keep our community as safe as possible and fulfill our mission in a changing situation.

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