Villa Maria College to start semester as scheduled, with precautions


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Villa Maria College is taking caution in its plans to reopen for the fall semester.

The semester will be starting on schedule, beginning August 31. Although classes will be face-to-face, class sizes will be smaller.

Here are some of the safety measures Villa Maria is enacting:

  • Social distancing: All members of the college community will be expected to maintain a safe distance of 6 feet from others. Signs, flyers, and floor markers will be posted throughout campus to help facilitate social distancing.
  • Reduced classroom capacity: Capacity of all shared spaces will be reduced. Large spaces like the dining hall and auditorium will have a reduced maximum capacity of 25 percent. Small spaces, like classrooms and meetings rooms will be set up to ensure physical distancing.
  • Facial coverings: Masks will be worn in shared spaces. The college will give face masks to students and employees at no cost.
  • Daily testing and health screenings: Everyone who enters campus will be required to perform an in-person health screening. Those who are sick will be required to stay home or return home if they become ill on campus.
  • Hygiene and Cleaning: The college will adhere to strict hygiene and sanitation recommendations from government health officials. Hand hygiene stations are located throughout each building on campus, and all restrooms and drinking fountains will be upgraded.

“Villa Maria College is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all members of the College community,” said Brian Emerson, Vice President for Enrollment and Operations. “The College is taking significant steps to reasonably ensure safety and cleanliness and for all people who come to campus. Expectations may change as circumstances evolve and more guidance from government officials is given.”

Faculty and staff are slowly returning to campus over the summer.

More information on the school’s response to the pandemic can be found here.

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here.

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