CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The COVID-19 pandemic has kept safety precautions on the forefront of families' minds during college move-in.
“We’re now in the new norm we’re trying to figure it out,” Parent Bill DePasquale said. “I guess that’s the biggest concern right now is that COVID is a major issue but the safety of our daughter in this crazy world and things that are happening right now.”
This weekend, students are moving into residence halls across the College of Charleston with several COVID-19 changes in place.
Only two people can help a student move in and they have to stick to a strict two-hour window that’s been pre-assigned to ensure less crowding inside the buildings at one time.
“It definitely makes things more complicated,” freshman Abigail Hutchinson said. “But I guess now it’s kind of more normal than it was a few months ago.”
Alicia Caudill, vice president of student affairs, said the residence halls are at 65 percent capacity to allow for social distancing. Students will not be allowed in non-essential common areas like lounges or community kitchens.
“If we learn differently that students can engage in those spaces then we certainly would love to provide them for now,” Caudill said. “But for right now the current guidance is those are not safe spaces for students.”
In addition to capacity reductions and restrictions, all students on campus are required to be tested for COVID-19 prior to move in and regularly monitor symptoms.
“I definitely think that if people should stay careful and stay away from each other and everything should be fine,” Student Bella DePasquale said. “But there’s always the chance that everyone could get infected and possibly close down college.”
Currently, 95 students are in insolation for active COVID-19 cases. Of those students, seven percent are on campus.
Hutchinson said she hopes students will do all they can to avoid outbreaks like some seen in other colleges around the country.
“I have two of my friends that have had to quarantine, no one has had to come home yet,” Hutchinson said. “I guess it’s kind of in the back of my mind because I don’t know what to expect but I’m hoping everything is as normal as it can be.”