BATON ROUGE, La. (The Livingston Parish News) – LSU is expected to enter Phase Three of its return-to-campus plan on Monday, June 29, Interim President Tom Galligan announced Wednesday.
Under Phase Three, the university would allow 75 percent or less of its personnel on campus while still maintaining current social distancing protocols from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Despite the intent to enter Phase Three at the end of the month, Galligan told employees in a letter those plans could be delayed if the COVID-19 situation in Louisiana changes. The state has seen a recent uptick in cases, with at least 400 cases being reported in eight of the last nine days.
Gov. John Bel Edwards is expected to announce next week whether the state will move out of Phase Two, which is scheduled to end June 26 unless it’s extended.
“Please know that this plan is subject to change if the situation with COVID-19 changes,” Galligan said. “As many of you know, some states are currently experiencing an increase in cases of the virus, so we will continue to carefully monitor the situation and keep you apprised.”
LSU, the state’s flagship university, officially transitioned into online classes in mid-March to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, which ultimately forced the closure of all other educational institutions statewide.
Along with taking students and faculty off campus, the university was also forced to modify its spring commencement ceremony to a virtual format in adherence to health regulations that prohibit large gatherings.
So far, LSU has confirmed 21 cases of the coronavirus, with the most recent being reported on May 28.
LSU reopened campus to 25-percent capacity when it entered Phase One on May 18. It moved into Phase Two on June 8, when 50-percent capacity was allowed.
The goal for Phase Three is to “open campus up a bit more while still maintaining moderate physical distancing,” according to guidelines LSU released Wednesday. Telecommuting is still allowed based on HR and Civil Service guidelines.
Though entering Phase Three means an expansion of the school’s operations, it does not mean that all students, staff, and faculty will be allowed to return to campus.
However, Phase Three does reopen previously closed spaces such as the UREC, the Student Union, the bookstore, in-dining areas, studios, research labs, and the library at limited capacities and modified schedules.
Some of the stipulations for Phase Three include:
• Employees must maintain CDC physical distancing regulations.
• Face coverings must be worn by employees when the job or circumstances put them within six feet of others.
• Anyone who believes they have been exposed to COVID-19 should see a health care provider. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 please inform your supervisor and email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Department heads are responsible for approving campus access requests.
• Employees must have key or card access to both the building and the office.
• If an employee does not have key or card access, the department head must coordinate access with the building coordinator. Facility Services will not lock/unlock buildings or offices.
For more information on LSU’s plans for Phase Three, click here.
David Gray | The News