Georgia State University president plans for employee, student return

The leader of the university with the largest enrollment in Georgia said in a video released Tuesday that some faculty and staff will return to its campuses next week, with some additional guidelines to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Georgia State University President Mark Becker said workers will be required to wear masks in campus elevators and encouraged to wear masks in other public spaces. No more than four people will be allowed at a time in an elevator. Teleworking will continue, Becker said.

The university, which has about 53,000 students, is working on what Becker called a “blended model” of in-class and online student instruction for the fall semester. Some classes may be taught online to accommodate faculty members who cannot teach in person. Students and faculty will be encouraged to wear masks in public spaces. The registrar’s website shows the fall start date as Aug. 24.

"These are absolutely crucial practices … that we must embrace to limit the advance of COVID-19," Becker said in the 13-minute video.

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Residence halls will be open, but capacity may be limited, Becker said. Georgia State’s main campus is in downtown Atlanta. It also has campuses in Alpharetta, Clarkston, Decatur, Dunwoody and in Newton County.

Becker is hosting a virtual town hall meeting for faculty and staff on June 2.

The University System of Georgia is working with Georgia State and its 25 other schools on plans to reopen campuses. The plans are contingent on approval from state public health officials and the governor’s office.