UNO students complying with rules and regulations

Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 5:59 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - College campuses have become a big concern as young adults are increasingly responsible for the spread of COVID-19.

In Omaha, students on UNO’s campus are wearing masks, social distancing, and following other rules and guidelines put in place by the university, according to Dr. Jane Meza, the university’s health and security officer director.

Nearly 45% of classes at UNO are remote or online. Still, since Aug. 24, there have been 56 COVID-19 cases identified, mostly among students. Units have been set aside for students who need to isolate or quarantine.

“It’s a way for them to isolate or quarantine in a way that’s safe if they can’t return home, or if they’re an international student or from out of state, or have someone at home who is immune-compromised or at risk for Coronavirus,” said Dr. Meza.

Other safety measures include extra cleaning, hand sanitizer stations, and signs around campus with reminders about the mask requirement, which Dr. Meza says students have complied with so far.

6 News caught up with a few students Wednesday who tell us they haven’t questioned their safety once.

“There’s not a whole lot of people here, everyone makes an effort to stay apart, most people wear masks,” said Sophomore Ryan Sheridan.

“The music building is really, really strict on precautions and guidelines and hand sanitizing and wearing masks and if we sing, we have to wear a mask and a face shield,” said music student John Lim.

“I don’t feel concerned about any safety when I’m here, as least on campus, whereas anywhere else I go there may be a concern that I may be exposed,” said Sophomore Max Heyden.

As for large gatherings, UNO has restricted them to 11 people, but if there’s a want or need for a bigger event, a request must be sent.

“They have to fill out a form to justify the reason for the gathering, make sure the room you’re using is adequate for social distancing given the number of people, and it adheres to the mask policy,” said Dr. Meza.

Social media is monitored by the UNO’s Communication Department to make sure students aren’t putting their health or anyone else’s in jeopardy.

“If something was brought to our attention, we would contact those people immediately to look into that," said Dr. Meza. "If we found there was a blatant violation of the student code of conduct that would be elevated to out dean of students, but so far we’ve had really good response from our students.”

Dr. Meza said the biggest challenge now, and going forward, is keeping up with the rapid changes of COVID-19 and adjusting to feedback from students, faculty, and staff.

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