HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – As schools, colleges and universities across the country are trying to get their COVID cases under control, UAH is working on keeping their numbers low.
The university taking nothing lightly when it comes to the potential of bringing COVID through their doors.
“We looked at what we had, we knew where we needed to go and we just made it happen,” Associate Vice President of Student Affairs John Maxon said.
There are nearly 10,000 students enrolled at the university, and 1,700 living on campus. Maxon said the university thought of any and every way to slow the spread before it happened.
“Kicks on the doors so you don’t need to use a handplate, stickers on mirrors and windows, sanitation stations at every door.” And thosse are just the basics.
Director of Marketing and Communications Elizabeth Gibbish says on-campus learning is going to look different too.
” Theres a blue group and silver group, blue group attends classes on Monday and Tuesday, silver Wednesday and Thursday,” she said.
UAH is part of the UA system. While their total enrollment is lower than that of UAB and Alabama at Tuscaloosa, their student ratios are lower too.
UAH officials are keeping those who are positive or who have been exposed in a campus hotel-turned-quarantine center.
“We have 64 beds in the Bevill center that we have committed to those for quarantine and of those 10 are occupied,” Maxon said.
UAH is also implementing a UAB-developed app called Guidesafe, which requires students to submit a self-check every three days.
“That then facilitates entry into classes, into events and into meetings,” Gibbish said.
In addition to self-checks and two different forms of free covid testing; one at random weekly, and the other offered for students with symptoms, the campus is enforcing what Maxon calls a 4-step protocol to ensure cooperation. The first step is a warning; punishments increase until the last straw:
“It could lead all the way up to a full year suspension from UAH,” Maxon said.
But it hasn’t come to that yet.
“Our faculty, staff and students deserve a lot of credit. Our numbers are the way that they are because they have chosen to buy in,” Maxon said. “When we’ve had to address it they’ve been quick to respond and I think that reflects in our numbers.”