Lake Area Tech president discusses fall startup plan

Local News

WATERTOWN, S.D. (KELO) — Schools at all levels are putting together plans to keep students and staff safe during the pandemic.

Lake Area Technical College is getting ready to welcome about 2,000 students back to campus in August with its Fall Semester Startup Plan.

The fall semester begins August 17 at Lake Area Technical College.

You’ll notice one safety step right away when you get to campus.

“When you come into the building we’re going to screen you for symptoms: Do you have a fever? Ask you if you have any symptoms,” LATC President Mike Cartney said.

President Mike Cartney says students will also work within their program bubbles.

“By doing that approach and not mixing students just freely we hope to have a much better ability to contain, if we should have an outbreak or something like that,” Cartney said.

Cartney says people also need to take personal responsibility by keeping a six foot distance from others.

If that’s not possible, they’re strongly encouraged to use a barrier including a face covering or shield.

While the fall semester is weeks away, the college has already implemented this plan for a much smaller group of people who are currently on campus for summer classes.

Cosmetology student Jennie Doeden gets her screening, which includes a temperature check, every day.

“I’m just glad that we get to be here because it’s something I would rather do hands on than get a cosmetology degree online, so they’ve been really flexible and really good about keeping us safe and comfortable here,” LATC Cosmetology Student Jennie Doeden said.

The college’s president is looking forward to bringing even more students back next month.

“Industry needs to be back to work. The pipeline that supports those industries needs to be back also,” Cartney said.

Lake Area Tech is taking several other steps too, including making masks available to staff and students, adding plexiglass, and using extra hand sanitizer stations.

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