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The Arch on North Campus of the University of Georgia. (Photo/Kyle Nadler)

University of Georgia President Jere Morehead sent an ArchNews email to UGA students on Wednesday detailing protocols for returning to campus, including dining services, housing and transportation. Morehead said this email will be the “first in a series of email newsletters” before the semester begins.

The email addressed the University System of Georgia’s mask mandate, which will require everyone on UGA’s campus to wear face coverings inside campus buildings. People who do not wear face coverings will be asked to put one on or leave the building.

The email linked to additional safety measures outlined for phases two and three of campus return. The UGA community is encouraged to regularly monitor symptoms and body temperature with UGA-provided digital thermometers. People can self-report through an app, which will contribute to the Georgia Department of Public Health’s contact-tracing initiative. 

The message for phases two and three said the university has ordered 4,000 gallons of hand sanitizer and 2.5 million sanitizing wipes. Supervisors, faculty, staff and students will all receive training modules ahead of the fall semester.

Transportation and Parking Services released a video detailing new bus procedures, which includes social distancing at bus stops and on the bus.

The UGA community on Twitter caught wind of the video before it was released in the email, many people calling the social distancing requirements unrealistic for the usual crowds at the bus stops.

Dining Services updates include an online ordering option, taking food to-go and establishing a reservation system for accessing dining halls.

The Tate Student Center will open Aug. 13 with modified hours. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday through Friday and from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tate is usually open from 8 a.m. to midnight every day.

The email also outlined updates to fall semester instruction, which was first published June 23. These updates include an additional five-minute class change and social distancing in the classrooms.

While classes will be taught face-to-face, the ArchNews message said social distancing will be facilitated through a “variety of options.” For some, students will go to each session and meet professors for online office hours. For others, students will rotate between online and in-person class. Professors may use different formats, depending on what works best for their classes.

Students at higher risk for severe complications from COVID-19 can also request COVID-19-related accommodations from the Disability Resource Center.

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