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Residential Life changes for fall 2020

July 10, 2020; updated July 27

Here is a summary of changes in Residential Life for the fall semester of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

Calendar

The college will hold classes the last in-person classes of the fall semester the day before Thanksgiving (Nov. 25). All classes will switch to online-only after Thanksgiving.

Students who return home for Thanksgiving are not required to return to campus until J-term. Students who plan to remain in campus housing after Thanksgiving break should notify Residential Life of their plans.

Spaces and cleaning

Rooms will be "de-densified" to allow at least 12 feet of space between students when they are asleep. This means some triples will be used as doubles and some doubles will be used as singles.

A large number of rooms will be made available for single occupancy in first-year residence halls.

Community restrooms in housing will be cleaned a minimum of three times per day with the possibility of being cleaned even more frequently.

Isolation and quarantine housing has been established to utilize when surveillance and contact tracing warrants use.

Masks and visitors

Students will be required to wears masks in the residence halls outside their rooms.

Outside visitors will not be allowed in on-campus housing after move-in day. There will be restrictions on students’ ability to host other student guests in their rooms.

Move-in will be spread over a longer period of time to prevent crowds from developing when students return to campus.

Move-in

Move-in for new students will be spread over two days (Aug. 26-27). Move-in will occur in smaller, scheduled groups. Also, depending on room location in the residence halls, students and families will be scheduled to use particular entries into the buildings. 

Volunteers assisting with the traditional move-in will only cart personal belongings from vehicles to the building entrance rather than take belongings all the way to a student’s room. Carts will be used and volunteers will not touch personal belongings. If the lack of greater assistance creates a hardship for a student or family, please contact Residential Life. 

Also, residence hall keys will be sanitized and placed in an envelope at least two weeks prior to student move-in to minimize human contact with keys. 

See more details about move-in

Room occupancy

One of the strategies in Residential Life to co-exist with COVID-19 is to "de-densify" the residence halls. This means assigning only one student to the smaller double rooms. Any room where students can't sleep 12 feet away from each other will be de-densified. 

Smaller triple-occupancy rooms will be used as double occupancy rooms. Smaller double-occupancy rooms will be used as singles. 

Many students have identified a preferred roommate, and those requests will be honored.

Space is limited to secure these smaller single rooms (previously double rooms). During the fall semester, students in the de-densified rooms will be charged the double rate, not the single rate.

If the state of Illinois reaches Phase 5, which means that a vaccine is widely available and COVID-19 is no longer a threat, the college may assign a second student into these spaces if needed.

If demand for single rooms is greater than availability on campus, alternative plans are being pursued. The college is working to secure off-campus housing in hotel spaces. This plan will be pursued further only if the demand for single rooms is greater than availability on campus.

Cleaning

Cleaning is being enhanced in the residence halls. All community bathrooms in the residence halls will be deep-cleaned each morning before classes start.

This will include the cleaning of stools/urinals, showers, sinks and counters, stall walls (including tops/door latches), light switches and door frames; trash cans emptied and relined; and floors swept and mopped. This routine will be followed each day with frequent returns throughout.

Whenever possible, this cleaning will occur every two hours during the business day. At minimum, each traditional residence hall bathroom will be cleaned three times
a day.

Following CDC guidance, cleaning and disinfecting will include the use of soap/water in a pail with two cloths for proper rotation. That will be followed by a misting disinfectant allowed to air dry. This process will occur on elevator panels and buttons, computer kiosks, monitors/keyboards, tables/chairs in lounges, front desks, phones, stairwell railings and light switches.

Residence hall restroom traffic will be monitored and cleaning schedules will be adjusted as necessary throughout the fall semester.

Common areas 

Lounges and other areas that typically attract community gatherings are being evaluated for space and furniture layout. Physical distancing will be expected in these community spaces and face coverings should be worn.

For physical distancing purposes, signs detailing capacity limitations will be posted in these spaces and seating will be rearranged, removed or clearly marked as unusable. Common areas will be cleaned on a daily basis.

Visitor policy

Outside visitors will not be allowed in the residence halls during the fall semester with the exception of move-in and move-out day.

After move-in day, no one other than registered Augustana students and approved staff will be allowed in any residential hall or transitional living area (TLA) space.