Gonzaga University has been adapting and changing guidelines for students in order to keep campus open.
The first step that the school took was to send study-abroad students back to the U.S. and students home for the remainder of spring 2020, summer 2020 classes were moved to online learning, followed by a combination of hybrid, in-person and remote learning for the fall 2020 semester.
As COVID-19 is still a complicated hurdle for universities across the world, GU is adapting its regulations again, learning from last semester.
Perhaps the largest change for GU students is the return to campus protocol. "The Spring Arrival and Return to Gonzaga Guide," spoken in a video by President Thayne McCulloh and sent to students by Vice Provost of Student Affairs Kent Porterfield, on Jan. 8, outlines the new guidelines.
Key Takeaways from "The Spring Return to Campus Guide":
GU asked students to minimize contact with people outside their households seven to 10 days prior to returning to campus.
A COVID-19 test was also asked of students 72 hours before coming to campus. If tested negative, GU welcomed students back. If not, they required that students stay home until they have finished the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation of 10-14 days of isolation.
The use of an app to track symptoms will also be enforced for everyday use of students who plan on coming to campus. The ZagCheck app is a “self screening” for students. The app can be downloaded through Microsoft’s Power App or at www.gonzaga.edu/zagcheck.
GU is also offering a semester check- in for students that assesses their mental, physical and overall health.
On Wednesday, GU began surveillance testing again. This testing randomly selects students to be tested for COVID-19. The surveillance testing was successful in the fall, so it will continue into the spring.
There will be midsemester “reading days” on March 11 and 12, to replace a normal spring break.
All delivery modes of classes have been finalized on Zagweb. Like the fall semester, all courses have been left up to professors to decide if they want to hold their classes in person, hybrid or remote.
New students are required to complete an extra course, not counted towards their GPA, on Blackboard. This course walks new students through the expectations on campus and “what-if” scenarios if COVID-19 is contracted. Students who attended classes in the fall and already took this course, do not have to take it again.
Classrooms have been modified to meet the requirements for social distancing, if classes are held face-to-face. Cameras have also been installed in the back of the classrooms to allow for students who are remote to Zoom into their lectures.
Move-in and Food Services:
For new students the move-in process followed a similar schedule to that of the fall with staggered move-in time. There are three blocks of time over the span of one day for new students and returning students moved in the next day during their allotted time.
The COG will continue to operate for students. Options for meals include Grab-and-Go options and limited seating available to sit down.
“Welch Hall dining location has transitioned into Grab-and-Go with expanded Pick 3 Offerings including pre-built salads/sandwiches, allowing students another easily accessible location for food to-go,” GU’s handbook reads. “Cataldo Hall has been expanded to also include The Globe Room. 1887 exclusively offers Grab-and-Go options, along with a rotating hot entrée option, while The Globe Room offers Simple Servings and vegan options. Breakfast has been added to 1887.”
The Rudolf Fitness Center will be open on an appointment basis. These are the same rules that were put in place for the fall semester. The pool will reopen with restrictions and reservations required and no locker or shower use is permitted. According to Washington State’s new COVID-19 protocol put in place by Gov. Jay Inslee on Jan. 11, a maximum of 45 minutes per person is allowed at gyms.
Washington State Specific Information:
On Jan. 11, Inslee released a new plan for Washington state to reopen called the “Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery.” The state has been split up into regions and each region is allowed to move into different phases when it meets certain requirements. Spokane resides in the East Region.
According to Inslee’s website, each region begins in Phase One and moves into Phase Two when it meets the following criteria:
-Decreasing trend in two-week rate of COVID-19 cases per 100K population (decrease >10%)
-Decreasing trend in two-week rate new COVID-19 hospital admission rates per 100K population (decrease >10%)
-ICU occupancy (total COVID-19 and non-COVID-19) of less than 90%
-COVID-19 test positivity rate of <10%
If a region moves into Phase Two, but fails to maintain all the requirements needed to stay in Phase Two, it will be moved back to Phase One.
Gyms and outdoor entertainment will be allowed to open under restrictions, like appointments.
“Indoor gatherings and indoor dining remain prohibited. Outdoor dining with a maximum of six people and limit for two households per table is permitted with an 11 p.m. close,” said Inslee in his Healthy Washington- Roadmap to Recovery. “Retail, worship services, personal services, and professional services — where remote work isn’t available — are limited to 25% capacity.”
Hannah Hislop is a news editor. Follow her on Twitter: