VANDERBURGH CO., Ind. (WFIE) - The University of Southern Indiana reopened to the public Monday, allowing most of its faculty and staff to return to work.
The campus had been closed since March 17.
“It’s been a good morning,” says Jon Mark Hall, Director of Athletics at USI. “Just to see some familiar faces in the offices.”
Before returning, students and staff must complete a short online COVID-19 training module. It will be emailed to students later this summer and must be completed before classes startup.
“It doesn’t take a long time,” says Kindra Strupp, Vice President for Marketing and Communications at USI. “But it really goes through what is COVID-19, how do you minimize risk, and obviously, keep yourself safe, as well as those around you. Then, you take an 11-question test that really just makes sure you understood the material.”
Safety signage covers doors across campus, encouraging guests to maintain physical distance. University officials say everyone will be required to wear a mask when inside buildings.
These are just a few steps of what campus leaders refer to as the “Safe Return to Campus Plan,” outlining 39 steps the university is taking to keep everyone safe. Everything from campus dining to computer labs to mail distribution has a plan.
University officials say the plan is the product of a four-month project from their 125-member task force.
“Just to see some buzz on campus, and see some prospective students on campus, it means a lot to us,” says Hall.
School officials add, the university’s health center is run by Deaconess Health, and they do plan to have a testing site on campus later this year. More information should be released soon.
Officials say public spaces like trails and recreational fishing on campus lakes will also reopen to the public Monday.
That’s where 14 News caught up with Jesse, a young fisherman who is thankful his favorite spot is back open.
“Oh, I love it,” says Jesse Danhauer. “It’s like no other. I mean, there’s so many fish out here. It’s just a blast. We’ve been trying to find other places to go, and there’s just nowhere better to go.”