CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Although Del Mar College isn’t considered a hotspot when it comes to positive COVID-19 cases, a task force for the college is continuing an open dialogue when it comes to starting the Fall 2020 semester.
Del Mar’s College's Executive Director of Communication and Marketing Lorette Williams said in April, the college established both a Return-To-Campus-Plan Planning Team, and an advisory committee to address its reopening process.
“Basically, this is the group that goes through and discusses the phases, discusses the protocols, reviews the current conditions, and so forth,” she said
Currently, Del Mar College is in Phase 2 of its Return-To-Campus plan, meaning the currently is closed off to everyone with only the exception of students within police, fire and nursing programs.
Phase 3 — which would effectively allow all students to return to campus — isn’t set to begin until Spring 2021, at the earliest. This is subject to revision based on “evolving conditions,” the Return-To-Campus document cites.
Amanda Young, a level 4 nursing student, said, while she understands what she’s getting herself into as healthcare worker, she appreciates the precautions Del Mar has taken.
“We need to keep in mind (where) the cases are going,” she said. “If they’re rising or not. But we also have to remember a lot of (areas) like the nursing program are preparing to go into this field.”
Young said she does get some peace of mind knowing Del Mar regularly updates her, via email, about cases affecting the school.
Williams said it’s important to build frameworks and procedures that allow flexibility.
“Because things change so rapidly, sometimes we look at this changing day-to-day, sometimes it changes hour-to-hour,” she said. “We have to have that ability to be able to lessen the restrictions, and also — to tighten the restrictions when needed.”
By keeping the plan fluid, Williams said it gives the college options that range from some in-person classes to online-only courses.
“As conditions get better, then maybe we can expand the hybrid courses or the face-to-face courses,” she said. “If symptoms get worse though, we have then, the ability to go all online if needed.”
Williams said those who currently attend campus are required to perform daily assessments for COVID-19 symptoms. If they do show any — they’re not allowed on campus.
The Return To Campus Advisory Group meets every week.