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News Release, College of Southern Maryland
The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) announces it will move to Phase 2 of its ‘Return to Campus Plan’ and shift from Remote Operations to Restricted Operations in July. This change in status eases restrictions for campus access and allows for some in-person student services and instruction.
Beginning Tuesday, July 7, CSM will open every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students seeking services from admissions, advising, computer labs, counseling, disability support services, financial assistance, the Registrar’s Office or Veterans Affairs will be allowed on campus by appointment. Students who need to visit the Bursar’s office or the college store at the La Plata Campus will be able to visit without appointments.
Under the restricted operational phase, almost all instruction and most college work functions will continue to take place remotely. CSM announced June 25 that all of CSM’s credit classes during the Fall 2020 semester will be taught primarily in a virtual environment. There will be differences, however, in how CSM’s various course offerings will be presented. During Phase 2, CSM will offer a limited number of face-to-face classes to allow for certain instruction – such as pre-arranged laboratory time, clinical experiences and the driving range.
“Over the past five months the college has spent a significant amount of time learning about COVID-19; keeping current with guidance and directions from the governor’s office, Maryland Department of Health, the Center for Disease Control, and leading health and safety experts; and developing and implementing plans to guide the college through these extraordinary times,” said CSM Vice President of Operations and Planning Dr. Bill Comey. “Recently, we finalized a Return to Campus Plan to serve as a framework for planning and eventually implementing the re-opening of our physical campuses. The plan’s goals are to protect the health of students and employees; help ensure the well-being of the community; and carefully and deliberately resume campus operations in a safe manner.”
The plan is not a calendar and does not have fixed dates but is a guide to show the intended path forward.
Enhanced safety precautions and requirements
All students, faculty and staff returning to campus will be required to pass a temperature check conducted by Public Safety Officers at the entrance of each campus. Visitors will also be required to wear face masks while on CSM property and maintain a physical distance of six feet from others. Frequent hand washing will be encouraged and visitors will find an abundance of hand sanitizer stations and wipes available. Other steps that CSM has taken to protect against the spread of COVID-19 include:
- The installation of acrylic shields and other physical barriers in high-traffic or close contact areas
- Limiting face-to-face meetings and not allowing any face-to-face meetings to exceed 10 people
- Capping classroom capacity so enrollment never exceeds 50% of a room’s capacity
- Reconfiguring classrooms, computer labs, conference rooms, office areas, and lounge spaces to encourage and facilitate physical distancing
- Significantly increasing the frequency of cleaning and enhancing the methods used to clean surfaces in order to kill coronavirus
- Requiring students and employees who are sick or have symptoms associated with COVID-19, who have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or who are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test to stay away from campus
- Providing mandatory COVID-19 training to all employees
“We believe these steps – among others – should create an environment that helps limit health risks to our students, employees and guests while providing access to critical educational services needed by our community,” Comey continued. “While every interaction with another person in today’s environment has some risk, we believe our plan will help minimize these risks.”