University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green sent out new information Thursday afternoon about how the upcoming fall semester will proceed.
In the email, Green explained that students, faculty and staff will receive two cloth face masks. Distribution stations for students to pick up masks will open on August 10. Masks will be distributed to deans and vice chancellors in early August, and other staff members will need to reach out to their department chair or unit leader to receive their masks.
With a few exceptions such as eating or being alone in a room, masks will be required indoors on campus. Along with masks and social distancing policies, the university’s facilities management team is upgrading filters and increasing the amount of fresh air drawn into heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems by nearly 50% to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
University employees are encouraged to work remotely as much as possible. Employees who are at-risk, caring for someone who is at-risk or feel unsafe coming back to campus are able to request an alternative work arrangement. Employees who have minor children who are required to engage in remote learning also can request to work remotely.
The email also said that move-in for on-campus housing will take place from August 13-16. All campus buildings will be open as normal starting August 10 while following campus safety guidelines.
As students and staff come back to campus, they are encouraged to self-monitor and report COVID-19 symptoms using the 1-Check COVID app, which was developed by the University of Nebraska Medical Center. A designated area for COVID-19 testing will also be set up on UNL’s campus.
The university has worked with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department to create protocol for if a UNL student, staff or faculty member tests positive. Those who live off-campus will have to isolate themselves at their residence while monitored by the health department.
Those who come in contact with someone who tests positive will be identified by contact tracers and quarantined for two weeks. This does not include classmates as long as face masks are worn and physical distancing is observed in the classroom.
University-sponsored international travel will be prohibited starting August 1. Domestic travel will also be discouraged, although university-sponsored domestic travel will be allowed pending two levels of authorization approval.
Green asked students, faculty and staff to sign the “Cornhusker Commitment” to show dedication to upholding the university’s safety measures.