Daemen College announces plans for students to return to campus in the fall

Posted at 10:28 AM, May 21, 2020

AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — Western New York has met the criteria to begin reopening while trying to control and stop the spread of COVID-19, and Daemen College has announced its plans for students to return to campus in the fall.

The college has an Emergence Response Team (ERT), led by Dr. Greg Nayor, vice president for strategic initiatives, who is using guiding principles to coordinate a comprehensive reopening plan.

“In addition to complying with federal, state, and local guidance, as well as recommendations from public health professionals, Daemen’s ERT is prioritizing the health and well-being of community members while ensuring that we are able to provide students the positive community that is at the heart of the Daemen experience,” said Nayor.

Daemen says it will need to be flexible as the process unfolds and several measures and safeguards will be put in place to protect the students, faculty, and staff:

  • A phased-in approach in 25 percent increments for faculty and staff returning to campus in similar increments to how the college transitioned to an online learning model.
  • Prior to returning to work, a process in which clearance will be provided based on a combination of screening, testing, and mandatory PPE that will be issued by Daemen.
  • Once at work, access to a daily tool for individuals to report health concerns that will allow the college to be proactive in intervention.
  • Policies and protocols for staff, faculty, and students for wearing protective equipment and keeping physical distance while creating a campus environment where people feel safe.
  • Enhanced cleaning and sterilization of rooms and equipment, including the regular use of new electrostatic sanitization equipment. Additional cleaning equipment will be provided for each office so that they may take care of their own sanitation of their frontline space in between college cleaning.
  • Standard campus-wide-signage, floor markers, and barriers to assist with creating distance while not creating an unwelcomed or unsafe atmosphere.
  • Density controlling measures for classrooms, non-academic spaces, and dining facilities to keep physical distance between individuals.

The college is creating a text line for faculty and staff to use for COVID-19 related questions as well.

“As a campus community, we have been through a lot together and we are doing what is necessary for the utmost safety of everyone as we introduce people back on campus,” said Daemen College President Gary Olson. “While we are still maintaining the status quo until we reopen, we are adapting to this new challenge with the goal of safely bringing back our faculty, staff, and students to campus and providing the highest quality educational experience in a healthy and safe setting.”

For more information you can read Olson's letter to the campus community here.