COLLEGE STATION, TX — Move-in day at Texas A&M University looks a lot different this year as the 11,000 students living on-campus for the school year are moving in by appointment only.
For incoming freshmen, move-in day is one step closer to their first year of college amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"I was really nervous that we might not be able to move in with the whole thing," said Jace McGovern, TAMU Class of 2024.
The incoming freshman selected his dorm room back in March at the start of the pandemic. Texas A&M Housing and Dining then made the decision to change move-in day to a week.
"We had to log on to our Howdy Portal and pick a move-in date and time from the 8th to the 16th just so it was spaced out and not so many people were all coexisting at the same time,” explained McGovern.
The university says while they did not make any changes to dorm assignments, they have changed their common areas, providing hand sanitizing stations and increasing the number of times they disinfect.
"Custodial will do a cleaning of the common touch-points two times a day," said Carol Binzer, TAMU Director of Administrative & Support Services.
While the university has sanitizing stations throughout campus, students receive some PPE when they check in.
"Students got a bag as they checked in called a COVID health bag. They got a mask that says howdy on it so it looks like a smile, hand sanitizer, some wipes, and a thermometer,” said Binzer.
The university also has plans in place for students living on campus who do contract the virus, along with those who may be considered a close contact.
"We have rooms set aside for people to be able to move to that have setups where they can have a dedicated bathroom,” said Binzer.
Students were also told to have a COVID bag ready in case they do contract the virus.
"Just a pre-packed bag with Advil, a change of clothes, a phone charger in case we do become infected, they can just come to our dorm room, grab the bag so we don’t have to go back in and contaminate more stuff," said McGovern.
The university says that their residence halls are at about 95% capacity for the fall semester, which they say allows for space should a student contract COVID-19.