CLEVELAND — Wednesday marks the first day of school for thousands of students across Northeast Ohio as they move into their college dorms.
But, as with everything else, COVID-19 has complicated the process and the risk of moving people from across the state or country into one place.
Kent State University students can start the move-in process Wednesday but it will be staggered throughout the week based on last name and dorm assignment in order to reduce crowds.
The university will give each student a welcome kit with two KSU masks inside.
There’s reduced capacity in dorms, with some single rooms and removing the option of 3 people to a room.
When the move-in week is over, there will be about 3,800 students in 23 residence halls and about 40% of all curriculum offered is online.
Other colleges like Mount Union, Notre Dame, the College of Wooster, Oberlin and Baldwin Wallace University also are moving students back to school this week or next.
Oberlin officials report it will have to ask that students complete a daily-symptom check before going to class or work. The college claims it will be testing about 2,000 students before they come back.
Baldwin Wallace is allowing students back on campus Wednesday, too.
Similar to Kent State, many of the dorms have been converted into single rooms to allow for more distancing between students.
In a YouTube video, the college’s president, Bob Helmer, said the school year will noticeably be different, but if all students can do their part they can still have a good school year.
“We’re going to wear masks. We wear masks when we are inside and when we are near each other, outside. We are doing an incredible amount of cleaning and are going to keep a 6-foot distance. Many of the facilities on campus have been rearranged, reconfigured. You’ll notice differences when you arrive,” he assured students.