Classes resume at EKU; university has contingency plans for COVID

Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 11:42 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Classes resumed at Eastern Kentucky University Monday.

University officials say faculty and staff spent all summer putting in place safety measures to make sure students are as safe as possible when they return to class.

Classes are smaller, but the importance placed on learning is just as large.

“We are ready, and we’re ready for our students,” said Bryan Makinen, Executive Director of Public Safety.

But, ready how?

Makinen says it’s through a combination of campus-wide measures and changes to class settings.

“Our faculty over the summer have designed their classes to either be completely online, to be hybrid, or to be in person,” Makinen said. “Our classrooms are going to be socially distanced so the capacity of those classrooms are going to be different. We are using nontraditional spaces on campus for our classroom environment because our primary responsibility is to educate our students in a safe manner.”

Makinen also says there are four tenants that students need to live by this year, and these could be the hardest adjustments coming back to school:

First, social distancing needs to happen. Second, masks are mandatory when inside buildings or around groups of people. Third, you need to wash your hands. Fourth, if you feel sick, you need to stay home.

“It’s a way of providing world-class education in a safer environment,” Makinen said. “One that’s conducive to learning but allowing students to be socially distanced while they’re physically here.”

Makinen says the university is ready for any changes in the virus, telling us that there are contingency plans for everything from a single case, to having to move fully virtual.

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