JSU eases restrictions on organizations, housing as active cases decline

Cocky poses masked for a photo at Burgess Snow Field. The university announced on Friday that it would move to COVID-19 response level one. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)Cocky poses masked for a photo at Burgess Snow Field. The university announced on Friday that it would move to COVID-19 response level one. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)

Matt Reed, Correspondent

Jacksonville State University announced on Friday that it would lower its COVID-19 response level to level one, or level green, in response to decreasing active cases on campus.

“It is important that student organization leaders remain vigilant and take proactive measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in our community,” said Joshua Robinson, JSU’s associate dean of students. “JSU reserves the right to move to precautionary level 2 or higher if cases on campus and/or in the community increase.”

The Office of Housing and Residence Life now allows each resident one non-student visitor, compared to only allowing one student visitor during level two (orange). Visitors will be required to sign into halls and temperatures will be taken upon signing in.

This is the least restrictive response level that the university has been under since the beginning of the year. JSU opened in the fall 2020 semester under level two, and increased to level three after the first few days of classes. The university went back down to level two near the end of the semester and has remained there until now.

Moving to level one also allows for more flexibility for campus organizations. Outdoor programming is still encouraged, but organizations may now meet in groups, host events with alcohol and receive training and resources on current best practices and guidelines for the new policy. 

“Moving to Level 1 will allow student organizations to have more guests at their events,” said Veronica Bjorkman, JSU’s assistant dean of students. “Organizations will still need to require face coverings, social distancing, and follow the risk management policy.”

As of Tuesday, there are four active cases of COVID-19 being monitored by the university’s task force, according to the JSU COVID dashboard. Calhoun County has had 646 positive cases in the past two weeks, with nine currently hospitalized.

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