Lyon College reveals COVID-19 policies for school year

Masks will be optional for the Fall 2021 semester, but social distancing and surveillance...
Masks will be optional for the Fall 2021 semester, but social distancing and surveillance testing will be present.(KAIT)
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 6:56 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2021 at 7:09 PM CDT
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BATESVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - We’re only about a month away before students flock back to college campuses, and Lyon College, which has been perhaps the most proactive school during the pandemic, has called their shot.

“We take this stuff really seriously, and we’ve had a year to think about what’s the best thing to do, what do we need to know in order to make the best decisions?” Provost of Lyon College Melissa Taverner said.

Last fall, Lyon College was the first of two in Arkansas to announce completely remote learning.

This fall will be different.

“So we still have those plans in place,” Taverner said. “They are there. We have adjusted and amended them so the restrictions aren’t quite as draconian.”

Masks will be optional on campus but strongly encouraged for those not vaccinated.

Social distancing will still be applied in classrooms, a decision that’s easier to make due to Lyon’s size.

“Our size gives us an advantage that we can have those conversations, and be as inclusive and transparent as possible.” Taverner said.

The recent spike in cases has caught the eye of Lyon’s administration, so every returning student will undergo mandatory rapid testing before the semester begins.

“We are also doing surveillance testing every week, five percent of our population randomly chosen, just to make sure that we are keeping a weather eye to what’s going on on campus,” Taverner said.

Editor’s Note: We originally reported that both faculty and students would be required to undergo intake testing. Only students will be tested. We regret the error.

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