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Health-Check App and More Being Implemented for BVU's Return to Campus

August 05, 2020 12:50pm

Buena Vista University has been busy getting ready for the upcoming school year.

Interim President Dr. Brian Lenzmeier says students and faculty will be required to wear masks in public places on campus, including classrooms. Keeping people six-feet apart will be encouraged, and in some cases required. Unidirectional flow will be used in high traffic building areas.

Lenzmeier says every morning, each student and employee will be using a health check app to complete a questionnaire.

"At the end of that questionnaire, they are either given a "green check" to go ahead and go to class or come to work.  If there are issues, they might receive a "red x."  At that point, they would stay home if they are an employee and contact their supervisor.  If they are a student, they would quarantine in their room.  Health Services would get notified, and they would assess that student to see if they need to be tested, or if they need medical attention."   

Lenzmeier says the app will be critical in monitoring how many students and employees are having symptoms, which will help determine if resident halls should remain open.

If students do get a “red x” on the app and need to quarantine, food delivery will be provided through the University's dining services.

Lenzmeier says he's excited about technology that has been added in each classroom...

"We've equipped all of our classes with cameras and microphones for faculty to teach.  Those courses will be live-streamed on the internet, so students can join that class in the classroom, or in their dorm room if they are having symptoms and must quarantine.  This also allows a couple of our at-risk students to continue to take Storm Lake classes and stay home where they're going to be less likely to interact with people."   

Lenzmeier estimates that 30 to 35 employees have spent a good amount of time this summer planning the reopening. The gym will be used for classes, and larger classes will be held in the chapel. Lenzmeier appreciates the community support. He says it's been helpful having BVRMC assist with the planning, as well as working with Storm Lake Schools Superintendent Dr. Stacey Cole.

Some students will be arriving on campus later next week. The 1st semester starts on August 24th, and face-to-face classes will be done through November 20th. After that point, classes and 1st-semester finals will be taken from home due to a concern of COVID-19 cases spiking around that time.

Lenzmeier says everything will be assessed along the way, including how to proceed with 2nd semester.