RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — ECPI University and its three campuses in the Richmond area have reopened for class under some extra safety precautions, including temperature checks.
Most Virginia colleges have said on-campus instruction won’t return until the fall. Yet, ECPI is a year-round school that requires a lot of hands-on training.
Matt Grinsell, campus president of ECPI’s Richmond South Campus, says they had to think fast about how to safely get students back in the building.
8News watched as Grinsell took the temperature of students and staff entering the campus in Chesterfield. Temperature checks are now part of a mandatory health screening for all students and staff entering the ECPI buildings.
“Anyone in your family or household have COVID-19?” Grinsell asked a staff member entering the building.
When it comes to a passable temperature Grinsell told 8News, “We are looking for under 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit.” If their temperature is higher than that, they are taken aside for a separate screening and sent home.
All of the classrooms and labs have been reconfigured to keep social distancing in mind.
“We have cut out the number of chairs. We have created pathways where the students can walk in and out,” Grinsell explained.
Signs are posted everywhere reminding students to wipe down their areas before exiting. There are new rules for the elevators too. Only two people are allowed inside at time.
In a cyber lab a rack would normally be filled with routers and switchers. Now everyone gets their own learning pod.
“Everybody would be kind of huddled around working in groups configuring their router and switch,” said Grinsell. “You may only have one student at a desk now. Their desk, their computer, their router, their switch.”
Kenneth Cambre, a massage therapy student at ECPI, is happy to be back on campus and he feels comfortable with the precautions in place.
“Oh yeah, I feel safe. I think they have taken every single precaution they need to make sure that everybody is going to be safe and nothing bad is going to happen,” Cambre told 8News.
ECPI is still offering a number of virtual classes for courses that don’t require hands-on learning. However, 8News was told from nursing to computers to electronics, hands-on learning is a big component of what the university does.
“I think the biggest thing we are trying to do is create a sense of safety and security for students,” Grinsell said.
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