JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On May 13, 2020, Millsaps College in Jackson announced it would be open for the fall semester. By all accounts, the college seems to be on target to do just that.
Annie Mitchell is the chair of Millsaps’ Campus Readiness Committee. She said they have been working on the college’s reopening plan for months.
The plan is bases on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) guidelines. Millsaps leaders said they feel prepared and confident to welcome students back in August.
“We are currently working on our Isolation and Quarantine Plan. So more than likely, what that is going to look like is an independent residence hall. The CDC and the health department recommend that we hold five to ten percent of our student population. Allow for that in preparation for students who test positive,” explained Mitchell.
All classrooms have been reconfigured to meet social distancing requirements.
“We are also shortening the time of our classes by ten minutes to allow for reduced, for our students to clean their work stations. They will be given sanitizing wipes and materials so they can wipe their areas down before and after class,” said Mitchell.
The campus has been blanketed with signage that reminds students to wear face masks. The face coverings will be required of all faculty, staff and students. The signs also remind them to social distance and practice effective hygiene.
The dining hall will only be open for students. While the all you can eat option remains, a to-go format will be used.
Mitchell stated, “So they can come in basically and grab and go and they can eat their food in an appropriate socially distanced setting.”
According to Mitchell, the Student Affairs Department is looking critically at ways to offer a sense of community in safe ways.
“The organizations are a go, but how they socialize will look different. But our students are really incredible leaders. We have an incredibly smart smart group of men and women here at Millsaps, and we have great confidence that they understand the need to be safe and to do so in a responsible way,” she said.
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