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UNLV taking precautions as students move into dorms

Posted at 5:33 PM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 21:25:30-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The move-in process at UNLV is usually a crowded affair. This year, things are different as the pandemic has affected education at every level.

Windows are being disinfected as UNLV students move into their dorms with fewer crowds than usual - a reality caused by social distancing needed in the midst of a pandemic.

“I expected it, but I didn’t imagine like a year ago. I didn’t think we would be in this position,” Taler Jones, an incoming freshman, said.

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She says she wants to take in as much of college life as she can.

“I mean they may send us back home. They may not, but if I have the chance to come to college and move in then I’m going to take it,” Jones said.

UNLV senior Simone Beasley says the pandemic has created a different feel on what’s supposed to be an exciting day for students.

“It kind of takes away from that human interaction you know, like ‘Oh my goodness. We haven’t seen each other in forever! Let’s hug’, you know? But it’s what has to be done. The university is taking extra measures to ensure safety,” Beasley said.

“We have the hand sanitizing stations in all of our facilities. We’ve got the social distance signage. You’ll see at our desk we have plexiglass,” said Richard Clark, assistant vice president for student services.

He says move-in has been spread over six days to accommodate more than 1,000 students moving into dorms with no more than 250 students moving in each day. It’s a plan that was two months in the making.

“Things have been changing on a pretty regular basis as we get new information from public health and as we get new guidance from the university,” Clark said.

Everyone is required to wear masks indoors, and UNLV is only encouraging students who are showing symptoms or knowingly may have been exposed to get tested. Clark says they made this policy with public health officials to ensure local testing sites wouldn’t get overwhelmed with healthy students.

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“We’re doing a lot of preventative measures. We’re doing some things to help mitigate,” Clark said.

If a student tested positive for COVID-19, Clark says there are procedures in place to isolate the student.

“We have rooms set aside that have private bathrooms so they can self-quarantine and recover. We’ve made arrangements with our health center so we can do telemedicine,” he said.

Students say these measures are motivating them to be cautious as they start school.

“Stay motivated. Follow the protocol. Social distance,” Jones said.

Classes will begin for the new school year at UNLV on Aug. 24.