The University of West Georgia’s Return to Campus Plan involves a comprehensive plan for bringing employees and students back to campus, whether physically or fully online, for the Fall 2020 term.
UWG has utilized seven working groups to examine a myriad of issues identified by the University System of Georgia (USG) in the Fall 2020 Return to Campus Framework to craft the plan outlined below. In all aspects of this plan, UWG will be guided by the state of Georgia, University System of Georgia (USG), Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other appropriate governmental or professional organizations in order to ensure our response, plans, and actions all fall in line with legal and medical directions and follow best practices across our many service areas.
UWG’s Return to Campus Plan outlines our approach for employees and students returning to campus in one of the following three scenarios:
- starting the term with on- site classes (Scenario #1),
- starting the term with fully online classes (Scenario #2),
- and transitioning from on-site to fully online classes at some point within the fall term (Scenario #3).
While UWG’s plan addresses all three scenarios, our primary plan is focused on Scenario #1 – student’s physical return for on-site classes for the Fall 2020 term. UWG outlines in each section how our primary plan will deviate if we have to execute actions for Scenarios #2 or #3.
UWG’s Return to Campus Plan is intended to be a living document that is updated as more information and guidance is provided by UWG’s governing resources.
Additionally, more detailed plans are being developed by divisions, units, colleges, and departments within the university to support and broaden the impact of this overall plan.
UWG’s COVID-19 Focus
UWG’s intent with this plan is to document approaches and actions that will create an environment that is the most conducive to safe and effective interactions within the day-to-day operations and academics associated with the University of West Georgia. UWG recognizes that all members of the UWG community must take responsibility for their own actions and how those actions impact not only the UWG community, but the greater community as a whole. UWG intends to apply the guidelines and standards laid out in this plan in a consistent manner to the benefit of the whole UWG community; however, due to many limitations in executing such an extensive plan across so many individuals, the effectiveness of this plan will be dependent upon the resolve of our leadership, employees, and students to put these guidelines and standards into practice.
While achieving 100 percent participation and adherence to this plan is the goal, it is also unlikely. Therefore, UWG will pay special attention to addressing members of our community that are at the greatest risk for adverse impacts if they contract the COVID- 19 virus.
Governing and Guiding Organizations
UWG’s efforts to implement this plan are highly dependent upon the guidelines, standards, and procedures outlined by many government agencies, governing bodies, and other standards-based organizations.
Listed below are entities UWG will look to for guidance and best practices to implement the plan. On some occasions, these organizations’ guidelines or standards may be in conflict with one another. In the case of conflicting information, UWG will abide by our primary governing agencies’ guidelines and directives first, secondary governing organizations guidelines and directives second, and all other guidelines afterwards.
Primary governing and guiding organizations:
- University System of Georgia (USG) – https://www.usg.edu/coronavirus/
- Office of the Governor of Georgia – https://gov.georgia.gov/executive-action/executive-orders
- Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) – https://dph.georgia.gov/preparing-and-responding-covid-19
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
- Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA) – https://gema.georgia.gov/emergencies-0/coronavirus
Secondary governing and guiding organizations:
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/
- American College Health Association – https://www.acha.org/ACHA/Resources/Topics/2019_Novel_Coronavirus_2019-nCoV.aspx
Tertiary governing and guiding organizations:
- National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) – http://www.ncaa.org/sport-science-institute/coronavirus-covid-19
- NATA (National Athletic Trainers Association) – https://www.nata.org/practice- patient-care/health-issues/covid-19-coronavirus
For the remainder of this document, we will use the phrase “guidelines from governing and guiding agencies” to represent our holistic approach for meeting the collective guidelines and standards for our COVID-19 response.
UWG will address the three scenarios identified by the USG regarding UWG’s approach to returning students to campus for the 2020 fall term. These scenarios include the following:
- Normal Opening with Social Distancing Expectations (Scenario #1) (Planned)
- Fully Online Opening (Scenario #2)
- Transition to Fully Online Instruction (Scenario #3)
The University of West Georgia, based on guidance from the USG now and in the future, plans to open its campus for all employees and students for the Fall 2020 term. The information listed in UWG’s Return to Work Plan describes UWG’s method for bringing employees back to campus in a safe and responsible manner. This plan does not intend to repeat information contained in the UWG Return to Work Plan and will make reference to that plan where appropriate in order to keep continuity and minimize the complexity of this plan.
The intent of this plan is to account for the full opening of campus to include students’ presence, residence, attendance, and participation in academic instruction, athletic events, campus events, use of student services, and any and all other normal campus activities and events that preceded the university's March 2020 response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
UWG’s ability to return to pre-pandemic operations will be in accordance with direction from our governing and guiding agencies. UWG will open the campus for students to return at a date that is coordinated with and approved by the USG. Additionally, the method by which students return, in person or fully online, will likewise be guided and determined by the USG.