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Redeemer University finalizes plan for safe return to classes

Redeemer University College has rolled out a back-to-school plan for this fall.
Redeemer University College has rolled out a back-to-school plan for this fall. Redeemer University College

Back-to-school plans are in place for approximately 900 students at Hamilton’s Redeemer University.

The private Christian liberal arts and science university has finalized a reopening plan that will offer a hybrid of in-class and online learning to ensure physical distancing, starting Sept. 9.

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Redeemer provost and vice-president David Zietsma says the university has taken steps to ensure active participation by investing “around a million dollars in technology to ensure that students studying remotely will be on a screen in the room.”

Zietsma says Redeemer has also invested in health and safety on campus by installing automatic door openers on washrooms and plastic screens on counters, tables and desks, and by adding ultraviolet filtration to the heating and cooling system.

He adds that Redeemer University has also hired a COVID-19 monitoring nurse to check daily for symptoms and for tracking and monitoring of “any outbreaks or troubling trends” seen among students or employees.

To assist with that tracking, all members of the Redeemer community will be required to complete a health check form each day that they plan to be on campus.

Read more: Hamilton public school board reduces class sizes, staggers start for fall return

The plan, titled A Safe Return to Campus: Redeemer’s Reopening Plan for Fall 2020, specifies a maximum class size of 50 in its largest lecture halls and outlines various coronavirus prevention measures. Those include wearing face masks in the academic building and other public indoor spaces, maintaining physical distance and following good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.

About 360 Redeemer students live in residence on campus, in separate townhouse units.

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Zietsma says that style helps with COVID-19 prevention efforts since students are living in “bubbles of eight,” eliminating concerns about communal dining and shared washrooms.