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  • Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

First day of classes for Arkansas State University, percautions being taken due to COVID-19

JONESBORO, Ark- Students head back to the classroom today for the first time on the A-State campus in almost six months.

While people are excited to be back, precautions are being taken by whole A-State community to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak.

“One of the things that we have planned all summer long for with our return to learn is to have our classrooms set up as physically distanced as we can,” says Chief Communication Officer, Bill Smith. “To have masks on campus and do what we can to limit the spread. We’ve got plans in place if we have to follow the course that other universities have."

While buildings may look familiar, new COVID-19 guidelines implemented by the university are new to students.

With masks required in every facility and classroom on campus, markers on the ground to promote social distancing, increased cleaning, and multiple hand sanitizing stations.

The university will also offer outdoor dining options.

They have also re-configured areas in the student union to promote social distancing.

Smith says they are relying on everyone to do their part to prevent the spread "The virus is extremely contagious, and the virus is going to decide a lot of our course,” says Smith. “We’re fortunate that we have not seen some of the scenes at other universities. We’re not naïve to think that they might not happen here. We’re very hopeful that the work by our faculty and our students, we’ll come together and keep us on campus as long as we can this year."

So far, the university has confirmed cases on and off campus, but no outbreaks.

One A-State student says she never imagined she senior year would take place in the middle of a pandemic but says she does have mixed emotions.

“I feel a lot of mixed emotions, but I am excited to be back on campus,” says Arkansas State University Senior Amara Kokroko. “It’s my senior year so, I’m kinda ready to get it over but, you; know with everything going on it’s kinda crazy and different. I’m in nursing school so, it’s kinda difficult we had to do it last semester and it was not fun. But I’m seeing lots of people wear their mask and social distancing so, I’m really hopeful we won’t have to go back online.”

A-State is offering a mix of in-person and virtual classes.

Smith says it’s exciting to see the campus active again but says it makes him even happier seeing students and faculty follow the university guidelines for COVID-19.


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