AL community colleges plan for start of school, will COVID-19 tests be required?

Updated: Aug. 3, 2020 at 10:57 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We’re just weeks away from classes beginning on college campuses across the state.

Most community colleges have hosted live Q&A’s to prepare students and staff for the COVID-19 protocols they plan to implement for traditional on-campus learning.

WBRC reached out to several schools for details on their COVID guidelines for the upcoming year.

Lawson State Community College is scheduled to begin on August 17. Lawson will offer hybrid, virtual and online classes for the fall semester, according to a spokesperson.

The college is still working out plans for COVID testing but will require everyone on campus to wear a face covering.

Wallace State Community College will also begin August, 17. The Fall semester will consist of online and in-person instruction. According to a spokesperson, class sizes will be limited for those on-campus and they’ll be on an accelerated schedule.

Jefferson State Community College is scheduled to return to online and traditional instruction on August, 21. Students heading back to campus will adhere to strict guidelines like signing a waiver, temperature checks, and screening questionnaires.

Students will be required to wear face coverings while indoors and encouraged to wear them while on campus, according to the Fall Semester Program Plan.

As for Mandatory COVID-19 testing, the individual campuses we spoke to did not share those plans but the state does have its own requirements.

According to GuideSafe, a state program led by the Alabama Department of Public Health and the UAB offering free testing to college students, Entry Testing is required for every student attending a state public or private four-year college. Additionally, all two-year college students who live on campus are required to get tested before heading back.

Other two-year students are eligible for the program if their campus is participating and they’ll be attending classes on campus.

Those enrolled exclusively in online classes are not eligible for testing via the program.

Guide Safe says each institution will reach out to students regarding testing directives.

Check back often. As we get more details from community colleges we will add their plans to this report.

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