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St. Mary’s University president discusses COVID-19 safety on campus

Fewer students in residence halls among changes

SAN ANTONIO – The president of St. Mary’s University says the school has taken extra safety precautions on campus to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

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Tom Mengler said there are about 600 students living in the residence halls, which amounts to 50% capacity.

“And that’s very deliberate as well. Our students are one to a room and no more than two to a bathroom,” Mengler said.

Two residence halls remain vacant to be used for students who may need to be placed under quarantine if they contract COVID-19 or get exposed to the virus, he said.

People on campus must wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines. A mask squad of 80 student leaders roam the campus, ensuring people are following the protocols and encouraging them to wear their masks.

“And they have masks that they can hand out if someone forgets to bring a mask to campus or leaves it in their residence hall,” Mengler said.

Students started virtual classes on Tuesday. They will continue through Sept. 1.

“And hopefully after September 1, we will be able to integrate up to 40% of our classes as in-person, hybrid in-person and virtual,” Mengler said.