President Carey sent an email to the Iona community declaring that the campus would be reopening for the fall semester with strict health and safety standards in place on May 28.
During the initial outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March, Iona made the decision to close the campus and shift all classes to an online medium.
Since that closure, the college has been working diligently to ensure that students can return safely. The campus reopened a few weeks before the semester began on August 10 to allow residents to move in and become accustomed to the new guidelines. The first week of classes was held online, which allowed students to submit negative COVID-19 test results in order to enter campus the following week.
More details on Iona’s reopening is located in the “￼Iona College Return to Campus Plan,” which can be found on the Iona website. According to this plan, the policies and procedures included were created by the Iona Task Force and were developed in accordance with New York State public health guidelines. It details the safety measures being taken by the school, such as facemask policies, social distancing rules and testing protocol.
The outpouring of care, support and direct aid is keeping Iona together, according to Vice President of College Marketing and Communication Mary Clare Reilley.
“Beyond the new protocols and physical adjustments, we also remind our community that Gaels take care of Gaels,” Reilley said. “We have a shared commitment to each other to follow new protocols and do everything possible to help keep our community safe and healthy.”
Iona still wants to ensure that there are ways to get back to some normalcy this semester. All classes will be held in a mixed-mode method, meaning that all classes will be offered online and in person. Professors will be teaching students who are learning in person and those who are online simultaneously through an interactive livestream medium, according to the “Iona College Return to Campus Plan.”
There are many guidelines that promote the safety and well-being of Gaels, making it vital that everyone follow them completely, according to Julia Romano, assistant director of Student Development.
“I think that everyone on campus would agree that we all need to be wearing our masks and utilizing the Gale Care app,” said Romano. “Students need to pay attention to the signs around campus which let people know that there will be one-way traffic in a building. So, it’s really about looking up from our phones and walking between classes looking at the signs and being respectful to those around you.”
Although campus may feel a little different with the extensive safety guidelines, this adjustment is necessary for the health and wellbeing of all Gaels.