With COVID plans in place, college campuses prepare to welcome students

Alex Tomczik is a junior at the University of St. Thomas campus. He’s excited but cautious about the return to school.

"No one wants to get this coronavirus and especially spread it to your family members, so I’m hopeful people will really take it serious, and I think they will," he said.

The university is paying close attention to what’s happening at other colleges that have been forced to move to online classes two weeks into the school year because of a spike in COVID-19 cases once students return.

And they’re taking precautions, asking students to quarantine for two weeks before coming to campus.

"(We’re asking them to) stay in their bubble, stay in their family unit, not to go out to parties or gatherings or large venues where they could possibly contract the virus," said Madonna McDermott, executive director of the Center for Well Being on campus.

The university has cleaning stations and self-monitoring temperature checks.

U of M president proposes delaying move-in for students in fall; transitioning to increased distance learning

Student move-in dates are spread out over the next few weeks and a limited number of people can help with move-in.

At the University of Minnesota Duluth, engineering professors sent a letter to the chancellor calling for a number of issues including better communication, daily updates on positive COVID cases, notification plans for those positive cases and a sunset plan if cases spike and a pullback is needed.

Department heads said the administration is now listening.

Century College in White Bear Lake is asking all students, staff and visitors to take a COVID assessment before coming to campus.

Anxiety is persistent all over as classes for some begin on Monday.

"I think the dynamic of hanging out like we usually do will be a little different, probably more outside than in our dorms," said Tomczik.