Louisiana is moving into Phase 3 of its COVID-19 response, though the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will remain in Phase 2 for the time being.
UL Lafayette’s Phase 2 plan extends from August to January and is separate from Louisiana’s Phase 3. The University intends to continue with their current plans, despite the state entering its next phase.
“... on-campus operations, with the goal of 100% Face-to-Face instruction, with physical distancing and safety measures as recommended by local and state authorities,” as stated in their Return-To-Campus Plan published on their website.
This goal is the one we are currently living and attending school with. This plan is following the middle-of-the-road expectations, that “Fall semester is Modified Face-to-Face,” as stated in the Return-To-Campus Plan.
The best case scenario would have been a face-to-face Summer Semester, while the worst case planned for a Remote Fall Semester.
The plan the university is currently using was in response to Louisiana moving into Phase 2, allowing public institutions to open up, though with limitations on crowd size.
The university is still prepared for worsening conditions.
The Return-To-Campus Plan states, “planning for the contingency of another peak in the virus that demands additional mitigation later in the Fall semester, necessitating a return to online instruction and remote work.”
Louisiana’s Phase 3 will affect students, however.
“Some businesses will be able to increase their occupancy, and bars may reopen subject to certain restrictions, only in parishes that do not have high incidence of illness and only if local governments choose to opt in,” a Newsroom statement on the Office of the Governor website reads.
“Moving into Phase 3 does not mean that COVID is no longer a problem for us because in fact it is,” Governor Edwards said.
He goes on to remind people that following capacity guidelines, wearing a mask in public, and self-isolation are crucial to Phase 3 being effective in moving back towards normal life in this article from Friday, Sept. 11.
As for the future, UL Lafayette’s plans include a transition to what their Phase 3 will look like, though plan for phase 3 itself is not published.
The university is looking to see the transmission rate as close to 0 as possible as well as a downward trend in cases and possible cases for 14 days before they transition to Phase 3. The university also wants to ensure hospitals are well-equipped to handle the virus before opening as well.
The University of Louisiana System is planning to enter Phase 3 sometime after January 2021, according to their website.