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Frequently Asked Questions

The current situation is still very fluid. Much can and will change as we move forward and learn more about COVID-19. As a result, please be aware that as new information emerges or if we receive additional guidance and directives, we may need to adjust and react accordingly. In those situations, we will make every effort to update this page whenever it is appropriate.

What is the guidance around face coverings?
Effective July 15, 2020, all USG institutions, including Georgia Southwestern, will require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities and buildings.

Will face coverings be provided?
Yes. Each student, faculty, and staff member will receive one washable, reusable branded GSW face mask at the start of the semester as part of the Fall 2020 Return to Campus plan. Members of the campus community are encouraged to bring their own face coverings. Additional reusable masks will be available for distribution at no cost, thanks to Mask Up Sumter and GEMA. The GSW Campus Bookstore will also be selling branded face coverings. 

Will the Health Center be open?
Yes, the Herschel A. Smith Health Clinic will be open Monday-Thursday 9am-4pm and Fridays 9am-12pm. Students may see a medical professional via teledoc or in person. Appointments should be made by calling the Health Clinic at (229) 931-2235. All visitors will be pre-screened prior to entry into patient area. Only guests receiving services should enter the building, no family or friends. The general waiting area has been arranged to promote social distancing. 

Will the university provide or require COVID-19 testing?
No, GSW will not provide nor require COVID-19 testing. The Sumter County Health Department, along with other local health clinics, can provide COVID-19 testing.

Will custodial staff be cleaning classrooms, labs, offices, and other high touch areas such as door handles, elevators, computers, and copiers?
Classrooms and labs will be disinfected nightly, including door handles, elevator buttons and computers. Each classroom, lab, and office should be equipped with proper cleaning supplies to clean as desired. (Contact Physical Plant if supplies are needed.) Copiers and counter tops should be cleaned at the discretion of each unit. Trash will be emptied daily in offices, and trash cans may be placed in the hallway if office entry is not desired.

Will hand sanitizer or cleaning products be provided?
Hand sanitizing stations are set up throughout GSW facilities. However, it is recommended to carry your own. Each classroom, lab and office area will be equipped with proper cleaning supplies to clean as desired. 

Will modifications be made to certain areas on campus to ensure proper safety precautions?
Yes. Plexi-glass has been added in the areas of Financial Aid, Registrar, Student Accounts and Business and Finance. Every building will have a designated one-way entrance and exit, specified traffic flow for stairwells, and elevators will be limited to two occupants at a time. Campus signage promoting proper hygiene, mask requirement, traffic flow, etc. will be placed in high traffic areas.

Who do I contact if I need special accommodations?
Anyone with underlying medical conditions that requires them to take special precautions against contracting COVID-19, or cannot wear a mask due to previous health conditions, can apply for accommodations. Students should contact the Office of Disability Services. Faculty and staff should contact Human Resources. 

Do I need to wear a face mask in my residence hall room?
No. Once moved in, roommates are considered "family units" and do not need to wear masks around each other, much like you would not wear a mask around the family members you live with at home. However, masks must be worn in the common areas and all public spaces. 

Can I have guests in my residence hall room?
No. Guests outside of assigned Residence Halls are not be permitted.

When will campus dining locations reopen?
All campus dining locations are expected to reopen to the public by Monday, August 10.

What precautions are being taken for COVID-19?
A number of changes have been made in campus dining locations to accommodate social distancing and reduce touch points such as one-way entry and exit, self-swipe, and no more self-serve. For more information on Dining changes, visit the Current Students page.

Are there take-out options if I feel uncomfortable eating around others?
Yes, take-out options are available at all campus dining locations.

Where can I get a face covering?
Each student, faculty, and staff member will receive one washable, reusable GSW face mask at the start of the semester. Members of the campus community are also encouraged to bring their own masks for use on campus. Free masks will also available through the Mask Up Sumter Initiative during the first week of classes while supplies last. The GSW Campus Bookstore will also be selling face coverings. 

How should I wear a face covering?
Face coverings should fit over your nose and mouth and securely under your chin, with the sides snug to your face. Learn more on the Face Coverings page.

How will the use of face coverings be monitored and regulated?

Face coverings will be required in all campus facilities and buildings beginning July 15, 2020. Anyone not using a face covering will be asked to wear one or they must leave the area. Repeated refusal to comply with the requirement may result in discipline through the applicable conduct code for faculty, staff, or students.

What should I do if I test positive? 

Students who test positive for COVID-19 should not attend class, return home, and immediately fill out the COVID-19 Online Report (link coming soon) or email covid@gsw.edu. Please see the What to do if you're sick section for further guidance.

Employees who test positive for COVID-19 should not report to work and should immediately notify their supervisor and contact Human Resources at 229-931-2000. Please see the What to do if you're sick section for further guidance.

Will I be penalized for being out sick or during quarantine? 

No. Faculty will work with students individually to ensure they can remain in the class and still be successful. 

Are campus facilities still available for reservation?

Reservations of campus facilities are limited to GSW students, faculty, staff, and organizations for University and/or student events, and those reservations will be limited to the Student Success Center and Collum Hall. We are not currently taking reservations for community events.

Will GSW athletic events resume in the Fall?
As announced by the Peach Belt Conference, all fall competition will be delayed until October 1. This decision will affect the GSW men's and women's soccer and cross country programs. In addition, the GSW men's golf and women's tennis teams will have to postpone any fall events until October 1, although both programs have the championship portion of their schedule in the spring.

Will spectators be expected to social distance?
The Athletic Department will have a plan in place for athletic competitions that will allow for regular attendance and a separate plan for competitions that will have reduced or no attendance. Plans have been implemented for social distancing by closing off seats, spacing out spectator areas, and increasing the use of hand sanitizer stations, cleaning schedules, PPE, and other CDC-recommended practices.

Will admissions tours be held in person?
Admissions is currently offering both on campus and virtual visit options for prospective students. View all visit options at gsw.edu/visit.

Will campus events still happen?
Yes. Campus events held indoors will be limited to 50 people or less (unless in the Storm Dome) where social distancing requirements cannot be met.

Will there be a December 2020 graduation ceremony?
At this point, we are still planning to host a December 2020 graduation ceremony on campus, should current guidance at that time allow social gatherings of this size. Stay tuned for news during the semester.

What’s going to happen with the Spring 2021 semester?
This situation has been and will continue to be very fluid as guidance and the public health status continue to evolve. As the fall semester progresses, we will have increased clarity on the health precautions that will be necessary for Spring 2021 semester. We will communicate in greater detail as soon as we can.

Can I travel outside of Americus during the fall semester?
All non-essential business travel is prohibited. For personal travel, please visit the Georgia Department of Public Health website for guidance on international travel, travel in the United States, and things to consider before traveling.

Will the campus shuttle service still run?
Yes, the shuttle service will run this Fall. Face coverings will be required. Cloth masks will be available if you do not have your own.

What should I do if I’m an international student?
If you are a student-athlete, contact Associate Athletics Director Christie Ward at christie.ward@gsw.edu. If you are concerned about getting back into the United States, contact DSO Pamela Harrold at pamela.harrold@gsw.edu.

What can commuter students do in between classes while on campus?
Commuter students can take advantage of the Commuter Lounges in Collum Hall on the 1st floor. Other gathering locations on campus are in the works, stay tuned.

What is the guidance for dual enrollment students?
GSW is having face-to-face classes and that includes courses being taught at the high schools. If students are choosing the virtual option at their high school then they will need to change their college schedule as well. Students should discuss this with their high school counselor to start the process. 



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