By Emmanuel Freeman
NASAHVILLE, TN (TSU News Service) — With nearly all students away and classes online, Tennessee State University is continuing a complete wipe down to protect the campus from the COVID-19 and other diseases.
The university is using professional cleaning companies with disinfectants and sanitizing equipment to wipe down its main campus and downtown location. Cleaning crews are using protective equipment including gloves, body suits, and products that are “extremely effective” in killing the virus, company representatives say.
Interim Associate Vice President for Facilities Management Albert Hill says the goal is to keep the campuses clean and less susceptible to the spread of infectious illnesses, such as the coronavirus.
“We just want to make sure that when our students and employees return, they feel comfortable going into the classrooms, residence halls, and work places,” says Hill. “We also want to assure parents that their children are safe.”
On March 16, TSU was the first public university in Tennessee to transition to all online classes as a precaution to contracting and spreading coronavirus (COVID-19). The university also canceled all campus events where large crowds are expected, and suspended all international travel through the end of April to minimize exposure to the disease. On Monday, March 23, the university ceased normal operations, allowing most employees to work remotely.
“These decisions were made in the best interest of the university, as both the federal government and State of Tennessee have declared a state of emergency,” says TSU President Glenda Glover.
“In following directives from the Governor and Mayor, we have adjusted the traditional manner in which we serve our students and operate the university and will continue to take every precaution necessary to minimize the spread of the virus. Most importantly, we are ensuring that students continue to learn and excel academically by providing all the resources needed to successfully engage and complete online courses.”
TSU has one confirmed case of a student testing positive for COVID-19. The individual, who did not live on campus, has been at home in self-isolation for a number of days while receiving the necessary care to treat their condition.
Dr. Joseph Perry, TSU’s director of sustainability, says the cleaning crews are doing an “excellent job” of making sure chemicals they are using are safe for humans and the environment.
“We are going to do this until we get to the point where we feel it is safe for people to come back into the buildings,” says Perry. “Essential staff and faculty who occasionally come on campus are safe because they are allowed to go in only certain areas.”
The U.S. Department of Education recently launched a COVID-19 information and resources web page for schools and school personnel.
For more information on campus operations and student information, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/covid19.