The Georgia Emergency Management Agency is helping the University System of Georgia acquire supplies and planning to protect students and staff from COVID-19.
With GEMA’s help, the USG has begun distributing additional personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies to its institutions ahead of next month’s return to on-campus instruction, as well as assisting with campus preparedness plans.
To ensure all of Georgia’s public universities and colleges are well stocked for the coming academic year, institutions have purchased – and USG has sent – a total of 835,400 masks and 1,161 cases of disinfecting wipes to campuses across the state. USG also has an additional stockpiled of 59,500 masks and 461 cases of wipes.
The masks and wipes are in addition to steps the institutions have been taking on their own, including face shields for certain environments, stocking up on hand sanitizer, and adding signage and plastic dividers to office spaces and customer service areas.
“The University System of Georgia has made the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff our top priority as we prepare for a return to on-campus instruction for fall semester,” Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. “We are grateful to Gov. Kemp and GEMA for their continued leadership and help, and appreciate all our institutions and employees have done over the past several months to adapt and plan for the fullest possible educational experience for our students in a safe environment.”
The GEMA partnership is helping with USG’s efforts to keep everyone safe as campuses return to on-campus instruction this fall.
To facilitate the return, each of USG’s 26 institutions have developed detailed plans for the fall 2020 semester using guidelines provided by USG, including plans for COVID-19 testing and contract tracing.
Campuses will decide whether to offer their own on-campus testing programs, partner with off-campus entities, or work through the Georgia Department of Public Health.
DPH, as the state’s public health agency, will partner with USG on contact tracing efforts, and each campus has named a liaison to their local public health office to ensure coordination.
USG has also consulted with the Georgia National Guard, and USG institutions have participated in National Guard training on cleaning and disinfecting facilities to help with enhanced cleaning schedules at our facilities across the state.
USG officials say they continue to follow public health guidance from DPH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and plan to adjust as that guidance evolves.