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Hocking College students are beginning the process of returning to their campuses this week, Hocking said in a news release issued on May 8.

Students will be returning on a staggered basis to complete the in-person portions of their Spring 2020 courses or previously scheduled Summer 2020 courses that require in-person instruction, the news release explains.

That first group of students arrived on Monday, May 18, a second group of students will arrive on June 15, and a third will come to campus on July 6. All courses are expected to end no later than Aug. 7.

Complete lists of these classes, with start and end dates, are available, by school, on the Hocking College website, the release stated, but the start and end dates for these classes could change depending on state orders. Some of Hocking College’s staff and faculty began returning to campus on Wednesday, May 6, the release explains.

Hocking College’s campuses closed to all but the essential business needed to maintain basic operations on March 19, The NEWS has previously reported. The college’s spring break, which was initially scheduled for March 7-8, was extended through March 17 for faculty and March 22 for students. The spring semester was subsequently extended from May 9 to May 15. Classes resumed in an online-only format on March 23.

Following health and safety procedures, staff and faculty will work in certain buildings across the college’s three campuses, the press release stated. Employees are screened every morning when they report to work, to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), a process which includes temperature checks to see if an employee has a temperature higher than 100 degrees and a confirmation of whether or not an employee is wearing a face mask, according to the press release. Start times are staggered by employees’ last names to avoid large gatherings at check-in, as well.

Once the screening mentioned above is complete, workers are issued a color-coded wristband for that day. If an employee’s temperature is 100 degrees or higher, they are sent home to follow the college’s “pre-established procedures for faculty or staff who are ill,” the release explains.

Any faculty members teaching online-only courses over the summer will be asked not to return to campus, and staff members who can work from home can request to continue doing so on either some or all days of the week, the release adds.

“So far, Hocking College has been able to maintain current staffing levels and pay rates for all employees,” Hocking College stated in the media release.

Classes and other gatherings on campus will be limited to no more than 10 people, and social distancing will be observed in all gatherings, the release explained. Students will follow similar daily check-in procedures as faculty and staff, including temperature checks, mandatory masks and wristbands. 

When each class session ends, the classroom and equipment in it will be cleaned by custodial staff before the next class enters, according to the press release.

The college’s dorms are open to students who need them while attending class, are in an apprentice program or have other extenuating circumstances. Students will only be allowed to live in the dorms during the times they need them. Once their class or apprenticeship is over, they’ll be asked to move out, the media release said.

Campus dining services will resume, but with carry-out options only.

In addition, any visitors who come to campus must check-in at the Hocking College Police Dispatcher Station, where they will be issued a wristband after their temperature and face mask have been checked.

“As we open back up we’re staying vigilant about reducing the risk to our Hocking College family,” Betty Young, president of Hocking College, said in the news release. “We’ve taken our lead from Gov. Mike DeWine and (state health director) Dr. Amy Acton. We feel that our plan will keep our students, faculty and staff safe while at the same time minimizing the impact on the quality, hands-on education students come here for.”

Plans for the summer and fall terms will continue to be announced as information from the state level is passed down, the news release explains.

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