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Special to The Sun—
ALTUS, Okla. – Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Western Oklahoma State College has sought ways to continue classroom instruction while also preventing and slowing the spread of the virus.
Incorporating feedback from the Center for Disease Control, Oklahoma Department of Health and Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Western has drafted a working plan for the fall 2020 semester that will allow the college to resume face to face classes with physical distancing while also offering alternative delivery for students who may not be comfortable returning for face to face instruction.
This plan is designed to provide students flexibility to continue the pursuit of their degree in a way that promotes confidence, health and safety.
• To remain in compliance with the City of Altus, facial coverings (masks, shields, bandanas, scarves, etc.) will be required while in all campus buildings;
• Class limits have been decreased based on classroom square footage to allow for the recommended six feet of social distancing;
• Occupancy levels in the cafeteria and recreation areas such as Pioneer Point will be adjusted to adhere to social distancing guidelines;
• Many classes that are being offered face to face will also have an extended classroom with virtual seats. Students who enroll in this section will join remotely at the scheduled class time via Zoom. There is no additional fee for those who enroll for a seat in the extended classroom;
• Western continues to offer fully-developed 100% online classes that provide additional flexibility and convenience for accessing course work at times that are ideal for the student; • Residential students will return to campus following protocol developed by campus administration and Oklahoma Department of Health staff. Students will be checked into college housing in shifts of small groups. They will receive health and safety related information and be tested for COVID-19.
Students that test positive will be quarantined following CDC guidelines. Students who room with or have been in close contact to a student that tests positive may also be quarantined as deemed appropriate by the Oklahoma Department of Health;
• College facilities will once again be available for community events and gatherings with limited capacity based upon social distancing guidelines;
• The Wellness Center will be fully operational on Aug. 3. Staff and patrons will be trained on proper sanitizing procedures.
WOSC staff looks forward to the opportunity to serve students and the community again, and pledge their commitment to providing the safest environment possible.