The University System of Georgia is spending millions of dollars to prepare for the fall semester after colleges and universities ended in-person instruction in March.
Campuses are reopening, but most classes will have online components. Students, faculty and staff are required to wear face masks in classrooms and other spaces where social distancing isn’t possible. Outdoor seating areas have been added, campus bus routes shortened and plexiglass barriers installed in classrooms.
COVID testing strategies are varied. Public universities have the option of doing their own testing or working with community organizations and state public health officials, and they have different guidance for when students test positive. Schools are requesting that students, faculty and staff self-screen for COVID symptoms before visiting campuses.
Many students, parents and faculty have raised concerns about the plans, especially after several private universities in metro Atlanta, including Oglethorpe University, Agnes Scott College, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse and Spelman colleges, announced online-only instruction for the fall semester. Some want more on-campus safeguards and transparency about planning and developments, while others are requesting a return to remote learning.