Purchasing 150,000 face coverings for students, faculty and staff. Developing free surveillance testing for the campus community. And installing thousands of new sanitation stations with disinfectant wipes in locations campus-wide.
These are just a few of the ways the University of Georgia prepared for the arrival of students on Aug. 20.
Staff across campus have worked tirelessly so students can still have a real college experience while making the necessary adjustments to safeguard students, faculty and staff during the global pandemic.
In total, UGA has invested almost $6 million in preventive measures. And the university continues to look for ways to adapt and improve safety and the campus experience.
HEPA units installed
Last week, the university’s Facilities Management Division added more than 130 high-efficiency particulate air units in classrooms across campus as part of an effort to improve indoor air quality. These new units complement other initiatives that either increase the daily fresh air changes or improve filtration for more than 5 million square feet of academic space.
These units filter the air three to four times each hour, depending on the size of the space. HEPA filtration systems are laboratory certified to capture 99.6% of particulates in the air that are the size of the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Learn more about HVAC systems and other efforts to improve air quality in campus facilities.
On-campus dining options
With over 60,000 meals served so far this fall, Dining Services is working hard to respond to student feedback and offer plenty of options to enjoy a variety of food options. New Meal Plan Quick Stop units at D.W. Brooks Drive and the bus stop at the West Campus Parking Deck offer fast grab-and-go options for all meal plan customers to pick up food throughout the school week. Items on the menu range from premade sandwiches and wraps to salads, desserts, drinks and more. Meal plan customers can enjoy a hot meal by visiting the dining commons and choosing items from available stations to either take-out or reserve a time to dine-in. Meal plan customers can choose to use Grubhub for quicker grab-and-go items that can be ordered ahead and picked up at dining commons.
Dining has also paired with campus partners to provide new general and outdoor seating areas at the Grand Hall on the fifth floor of the Tate Student Center, the north atrium at Stegeman Coliseum, inside the Snelling Dining Commons, and in portions of the Legion Pool parking lot near Bolton Dining Commons as well as outside of Village Summit. (Snelling remains open for Grubhub pickup only throughout the week and now offers 10-inch pizzas and two-liter sodas between 4 p.m. and midnight, Monday through Thursday.)
Although dining commons are open to meal plan customers only this year, Dining’s retail locations are open to all for take-out.
Learn more about available retail options.
Bike share program
Bulldogs have a new option to get around campus this fall with Bulldog Bike Share.
In addition to adding time between classes to give students more time to walk from one building to the next, UGA has partnered with Gotcha Mobility to provide rentable electric bikes. The pedal-assist bikes are equipped with GPS and are located at 22 hubs across campus, giving the campus community a greener alternative to riding a bus or driving from place to place. Riders download the Gotcha Mobility app to rent the bikes, which cost $2 to unlock and 10 cents a minute of ride time. The bike share also offers monthly and annual subscriptions, which save money with free ride time and eliminate the unlocking fee. Currently, the bike share is averaging 120 rides per day.
The bikes are frequently sanitized in between uses throughout the day. Gotcha recommends that riders use hand sanitizer before and after using bikes, wear protective face coverings and practice social distancing to minimize risks of spreading COVID-19.
Learn more about the Bulldog Bike Share.