Thanks to the University System of Georgia and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), VSU is prepared to hand out personal protective equipment to its students, faculty and staff throughout this upcoming fall semester.
On July 23, USG announced that they would be distributing PPE to its 26 institutions. According to the USG website, USG has sent a total of 835,400 masks and 1,161 cases of disinfecting wipes to campuses across the state. GEMA also donated additional PPE supplies to USG On July 29.
VSU now has 75,000 disposable face masks, 105 cloth face coverings, 9,700 gloves, 36 gallons of sanitizer, 300 gallons of disinfectant, 10 touchless thermometers, 750 cases of disinfectant wipes, 20 Tyvek suits, 2,000 gowns, 510 clear face masks, 1,500 face shields and 3,250 N-95 respirators in addition to the PPE they have already acquired, according to the VSU website.
All faculty and staff members will receive two reusable masks, and students living on campus will receive masks during the check-in process of move-in days. Commuter students will have the opportunity to pick up masks at the Student Union on Main Campus, and at the Health Sciences and Business Administration building on North Campus.
Alan Rowe, director of public safety and chief of police, said he is very thankful for the generous donation and that the PPE will be effective in helping prevent the spread of COVID on campus this semester.
“Based on the guidance we are currently receiving from public health officials, face coverings and other PPE (in partnership with social distancing and hygiene measures), are the best course of action to take at this point,” he said. “We are thankful for our long-standing partnership with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and their continued support to provide resources for us to best follow current medical guidance.”
VSU and USG have requested more PPE items from GEMA. Once GEMA notifies USG that there are more available supplies, VSU will arrange to pick them up.
“While we are optimistic to receive more, we are not guaranteed additional supplies,” Chief Rowe said. “Physical Plant and individual departments are still working to procure supplies on the commercial market.” .
Even though students will have access to PPE on campus, Robbyn DeSpain, director of strategic communications, encouraged students to take advantage of other helpful resources.
“These are challenging times, and it is OK to feel anxious,” she said. “VSU encourages students to take advantage of the campus’ many student support services and engagement opportunities. Our faculty and staff are also great resources and can help students navigate the college experience. We’ve challenged ourselves during the COVID-19 pandemic to think differently about how we approach campus life and support a safe and healthy environment this fall. Students should know we’re here to support them, and help is available from their academic advisor, Student Affairs, the campus Counseling Center, resident assistants, Health Services, professors and any other campus office they need. “
Written by Lenah Allen,Campus Life Editor. Photo courtesy of Bethany Davis, Graphics Designer.