We all know that COVID-19 has caused everyone in the world to readjust their living styles. There has been a lot of conflict and controversy about the way COVID-19 is being handled in the United States. Some feel as though we should shut down the country completely, while others feel like we should let the virus run its course. Well, WashU has been very proactive on this virus since day 1 and has found a way to remain open while being safe. And it’s all because WashU cares about YOU!
On the first day of classes, I was pleased to see the changes that WashU has made in response to the virus. For nearly every entry to campus, student workers were out and ready to distribute hand sanitizer and masks to students in need. And they are still doing this! I immediately felt confident that WashU has thought through all the important details in keeping us safe. Moreover, students only have access to the buildings of their major or classes they’re in this semester. This minimizes the amount of traffic occurring in closed areas. Entries and exits have been modified to be one-way paths. This prevents students from bumping into each other, increasing chances of germs being passed around.
The classrooms are cleaned before and after classes and to allow time for this, WashU increased the passing period between each class. Each desk is a least 6 feet apart and of course, masks are required. In order to be on campus, students have to do an online pre-screening to be cleared. It’s quick and easy, and holds students accountable to ensure they are appropriately evaluating themselves before coming to campus.
While all the precautions I just listed are great initiatives to prevent potential spread of the virus, WashU has gone a step further to keep us safe. Students who stated that they will be coming to campus are required to get a COVID-19 test every other week. To make this even better, we’ve been split in half by last name so that every week students are tested. This method prevents any down time in between weeks of testing.
The test is quick, easy, and accessible. Students can be tested on campus and get results back in as soon as 12 hours! Every time that I’ve gotten a test, I knew my results within that same day. It makes me feel great knowing that my peers are required to get tested and we don’t have to wait several days to know our results. If you don’t do the required testing, then there are repercussions which means WashU is taking this pandemic seriously. When you get a test, they take your temperature. They also offer you a care package that includes a mask, hand sanitizer, and a thermometer.
I know there are more initiatives that WashU is taking, but I think I’ve covered the majority here! I love having the option to choose whether or not I attend class in person or online. If I decide to go in person, I know I will be safe. None of this would be possible without the hard work that WashU’s COVID-19 team put into making sure we are safe. I am so thankful for my school!