Rowan University holds a ceremony for the graduating class of 2020. The ceremony was originally scheduled for May but because of coronavirus, it had to be postponed. - Staff Photographer / Miguel Martinez

It’s your move-in day.

You have officially returned to Rowan University in the midst of a global pandemic. With protective protocols in place, life at Rowan is not what it used to be. Time progresses, and mounting responsibilities from your classes make your life increasingly hectic.

In the midst of all this activity, will you remember how to keep yourself and others safe from infection?

SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory system coronavirus 2) is a novel and highly transmissible infectious disease that most people do not have immunity against. Though tedious, obeying these guidelines for college attendees drastically reduces transmission likelihood, and does an enormous favor for yourself and the community.

A good rule of thumb when interacting with other people is to act as if you are already infected, and that others around you are infected too. Listed below are specific guidelines adapted from what the CDC has published for students returning to college campuses:

Dining Halls:

  • Maintain distance from other people.
  • Do not share cups, food or utensils.
  • Pick up your food in a box whenever possible.
A plate of food in the Glassworks dining hall at Holly Pointe Commons. – File Photo / Justin Decker

Classroom:

  • Along with a mask, bring hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes wherever you go.
  • DO NOT place your cell phone or other personal items on surfaces such as your desk.
  • Place distance between yourself and other students by skipping rows/seats.
  • Avoid sharing belongings such as pencils, calculators, and textbooks if you cannot disinfect them.
  • Online classes are the safest – enroll in them as much as possible.
Dr. Joshua Gedacht, a visiting assistant professor in the history department, talks to students about where Islam is practiced in the world. – File Photo / Nicole Mingo

Dorms:

  • Regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, phones, kitchen and bathroom amenities and bookbags.
  • Avoid sharing food and non-sterilized belongings with your roommates.
  • Do not permit your toothbrush to touch the sink.
  • Isolate all personal belongings in shared bathrooms in portable containers.
220 Rowan Boulevard is among the few choices juniors and seniors now have for on-campus housing options. – File Photo / Amanda Palma

Laundry Room:

  • Wipe down washing machine buttons with disinfectant wipes.
  • Use hot water when washing your clothes, particularly if the load includes masks.
Image from Pixabay

If you as a student have any health concerns about your physical or cognitive well-being, do not hesitate to seek treatment, whether it is through testing or more specific and personalized guidance from healthcare professionals.

These are difficult times for everyone. Problems can only be solved when they are faced courageously as they arise.

Many of Rowan’s staff, faculty and student body members come in contact with other individuals outside the microcosm of our university who are extremely vulnerable to this disease. Elderly people with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and the immunocompromised can experience devastating repercussions if these guidelines are not taken seriously. Until a safe vaccine is manufactured and distributed, these individuals are relying on the judgement of students like you to keep them safe.

Adhering to these guidelines remains the best way to stop any possibility of Covid-19 transmission in its tracks. 

Cheers to a safe and successful semester!

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