WMU releases COVID safety plan a week before classes start

The plan includes updates to the student code of conduct, requires masks in most places, and bans parties.

Western Michigan University president Edward Montgomery took to YouTube Wednesday to outline for faculty, staff, parents, and students how the school is going to handle COVID-19 safety when classes resume next week.

The plan includes the usual array of safety precautions – mask wearing, social distancing, and enhanced cleaning regimens – but also places an emphasis on student responsibility.

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“It’s their choices, your choices that are the most influential factor which allows case counts in our community,” said Montgomery.

In a move meant to curb student parties and other risky behaviors, the school plans repercussions for anyone who fails to abide by the school’s safety plan or the governor’s executive orders.

Vice President for Student Affairs Diane Anderson said they will hold students accountable.

“If we find students have violated our safe return plan or have violated executive orders, we will hold them accountable with consequences that could include a suspension from WMU,” she said.

The school will continue to conduct regular COVID-19 testing throughout the fall. That effort will include publicly revealing positive case numbers to the public via its Safe Return Plan website.

Each Friday, beginning August 28, they will post information on the number of tests conducted, the positivity rate, and how many cases required hospitalization.

WMU will also require students and staff to answer a daily questionnaire to assess their own health. That data will be recorded by the school and used to identify anyone who is at high risk of transmitting the virus.

You can read more at MLive.

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