Some Sam Houston State University students are showing concern for the university’s open campus policies after the Recreational Sports Center (RSC) was closed late Wednesday afternoon through noon Thursday due to a patron testing positive for the virus.
An alert from the campus emergency notification system, KatSafe, stated that the facility was closing for deep-cleaning and any individuals who may have come into close contact with the person who tested positive had been notified.
The RSC uses a combination of cleaning equipment they began purchasing in the spring that includes electrostatic sprayers, electrostatic foggers and PURE, a hard surface disinfectant, to ensure that their facility remains safe, Associate Director of Facilities Ed Chatal said.
Chatal said that staff members are continually working to maintain cleanliness in the RSC.
“People are going through and spraying down, for example, cardio equipment,” Chatal said. “We have workers walking around with gloves and they’re spraying that stuff on a regular basis anyway. So sometimes you hear the word deep-cleaning and you say alright, so they wait until the very end? I would say the answer to that is no. We do stuff at the very end, but we’re also doing stuff throughout the day.”
Even with the RSC deep-cleaned and re-opened, for some students the situation serves as a reminder of the threat COVID-19 poses to safe campus life.
Sophomore kinesiology major Bart Cunningham said that if people with the virus are going to the RSC, they are probably in other campus buildings as well.
“It honestly doesn’t make me feel that good,” Cunningham said. “If someone’s going to go to the Rec when they already know they got tested for Corona, what’s to say they won’t go to campus? What’s to say that other kids won’t be doing the same thing in this dining hall right now?”
Along with requiring everyone on campus to wear masks and encouraging social distancing and frequent hand washing, SHSU has also placed signs in all campus buildings directing foot traffic and designating specific tables and chairs as available for use.
Freshman education major Zaviana Brown said that large crowds and people not following campus guidelines make common areas unsafe.
“It’s good that they closed [the RSC], but there’s more ways to contract the virus besides just the gym,” Brown said. “A lot of people huddle together in the LSC (Lowman Student Center), and no one really obeys little X’s on the stuff. So, I feel like it helps, but it’s not a huge step.”
More information on confirmed cases, plans and protocols can be found at https://www.shsu.edu/katsafe/restart2020/index.html.