Wednesday, Aug. 19, marked the first day of in-person classes on the uptown campus for the fall 2020 semester with social distancing, face coverings and various other COVID-19 protocols in place.
“Today, we embark on an academic year that will be like no other in the history of our university,” wrote President Michael A. Fitts, in a message to the community. “As part of our commitment to one another – and through the hard work and dedication of our faculty experts and staff – we've implemented exhaustive safety measures to make the return to campus as safe as possible.”
When students returned earlier in August, they found a transformed campus, with temporary classroom structures, plexiglass barriers, enhanced technology and new dining options, all designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19 while still upholding the quality of the Tulane experience.
In order to observe social distancing, traditional classrooms were laid out with 6 feet of space between desks, temporary classrooms and other facilities were added and other locations around campus, such as Newcomb Art Museum and the Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse, were called into service as teaching spaces.
“As thoughtful and comprehensive as our return to campus plan is, there is no one perfect solution,” Fitts went on to write. “We know there will be challenges and we'll need to continuously adapt as we learn more about this disease, its prevention and its treatment. Most importantly, we all need to take responsibility for our shared safety.”