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Augustana Students Return to Campus Amid Pandemic

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Augustana students begin moving in today. In past years, the whole process has taken 4 hours. This year, it'll take 48. To slow the spread of COVID-19, only 15 students will be allowed to move in at a time, and they're limited to two guests. 

Director of Residential Life, Chris Beyer, recommends that students pack lighter than they have in the past, in case they need to be relocated somewhere else on campus, or sent home.

"Be flexible and be ready for anything. We are going to expect everyone (to) wear the mask and practicing physical distancing." 

Some rooms originally meant for two people will now be single rooms. 

Augustana has set aside 50 rooms for any students who test positive for the coronavirus. They're located in houses and apartments with private bathrooms so students can better self-isolate.  

Beyer says it's important for students to be social — just maybe not too social. 

"We don't want people to be depressed or be lonely or feel like they're isolated from any human contact, but if they just create those small pods of inner-circle friends that they have their meals with and that they socialize with, that will help us contain the spread on campus." 

Move-in ends tomorrow. If Augustana is forced to close early again, students will be reimbursed for room and board. 

Marianna Bacallao is WVIK Quad Cities NPR's 2020-2021 Fellowship Host/Reporter. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism and served as Editor-in-Chief for the student newspaper, The Cluster.
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