TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Students returned to Florida State University’s campus on Thursday to move out of their dorms, nearly three months after they closed because of the pandemic.
While students are moving out, university leaders are continuing to develop plans designed to keep students safe when they return to campus in the fall.
When students left for spring break, they didn’t realize it’d be the last time they’d see campus for nearly three months. Thursday, they were just happy to get their stuff back.
“I was missing everything,” FSU student Mackenzie Hill said.
But they know when they return in the fall, things won’t be completely back to normal.
Universities are still deciding which courses can return to the classroom and which ones will stay online.
What is known is that FSU is planning for two weeks of virtual learning after Thanksgiving break.
Sarah Kissane is hopeful she can return to the classroom, but is prepared if that’s not the case.
“For next semester, I have most of my classes online anyway, which actually kind of benefits in this situation 'cause if they do move online, I’m kind of already set up for that,” Kissane said.
Gloves and face masks will likely be a key strategy.
And the University of Florida has suggested testing wastewater at dorm buildings for virus particulars in order to spot outbreaks.
“And then see there are hot spots that we can then target and say, ‘okay we can justify doing these 100 tests in this dorm,' or 'this area has at least one case. Do we know about it? Okay, let’s do extra surveillance,’” Michael Lauzardo with the UF College of Medicine said during a board of trustees meeting Thursday.
Kissane’s mother, Melanie, is confident the universities will keep her daughter safe.
“I feel like they’re taking all the right steps to make sure that the kids are safe in the fall, but I do want them to be able to be back and be in that college environment again,” Melanie Kissane said.
While most students are moving out at FSU, the university told us international students are still living in the dorms since they can’t travel back home. They’ll continue living on campus until other arrangements are made.
FSU will finalize its reopening plans by June 18. All universities will present their plans to the board of governors on June 23.