As BGSU prepares for the return of students, faculty and staff this fall, many questions remain unanswered, but the university is working alongside newly-hired Chief Health Officer Ben Batey to implement safety measures across campus.
In compliance with the Ohio Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards, all students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to wear a mask at all times while on the university’s campus.
During meal times, wearing a mask is not required, as long as the individual remains six feet from others and does not prolong eating for more than 15 minutes. Masks are also not required when a student is in their own dorm room, but must wear one if they leave.
One reusable mask will be provided to all students, faculty and staff, while visitors must provide their own. Members of the BGSU community seeking an exemption from wearing a face covering can fill out a form, which was made available on Aug. 1 and will be reviewed by the Office of the Dean of Students.
As listed on BGSU’s website, exemptions will be granted based on criteria provided by the ODH and the CDC:
Facial coverings in a work setting prohibited by law or regulation.
Facial coverings in violation of documented industry standards.
Facial coverings not advisable for health reasons.
Facial coverings in violation of business’ documented safety policies.
Facial coverings not required when an employee works alone in assigned work area.
A functional/practical reason for an employee not to wear a facial covering in the workplace.
It is also required that each person performs a personal health and wellness check every day before arriving on campus or leaving their residence hall. Anyone with a temperature exceeding 100.4 degrees or exhibiting any of the following symptoms, according to the ODH, should not come to campus:
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
Loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
People will be expected to maintain a distance of six feet from others when in open spaces if a barrier such as a wall, door or plexiglass is not in place.
According to Batey, each building and classroom is being evaluated to determine new occupancy numbers. Furniture will be removed from some buildings and spaces in order to ensure physical distancing standards are met.
And there are accountability measures in place if a student does not comply with the community commitment, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Jodi Webb said.
“We ask members of the community: if you see that others are not complying, it is incumbent that we all hold each other accountable. If you feel there is a concern, you can always file a report with the Office of the Dean of Students,” she said.
In addition to the expectations of all students, staff and visitors, BGSU will also have a team of “highly trained Campus Operations personnel” enact enhanced cleaning protocols throughout campus buildings, which includes the following:
Frequently cleaning high-touch points such as door knobs, push bars, railings, elevator buttons, etc.
Areas will be thoroughly cleaned using disinfectant and electrostatic spraying units to clean commonly used spaces daily.
Additional hand sanitizer stations located throughout campus, building entrances and elevator lobbies.
A thorough cleaning schedule can be found on BGSU’s website.
As more information becomes available, updates will be posted to the “Return to Campus” section of the BGSU website.