BOWIE, Md. (ABC7) — Bowie State University is gradually welcoming students back to campus. They're moving in one at a time. There is no crowd scene. Dormitories will be at less than half capacity and more than 90% of classes will be online. Sophomore Cameron Ervin says he has no reservations, "I'm very happy to be here actually. Happy. I'm relieved to be here not home."
Preventing an outbreak and keeping him and the rest of the students and staff on campus has been a summer-long effort says facilities coordinator Dr. Jacqueline Palmer. "We're taking all kinds of steps to ensure that when you come here you feel safe and can move through the day feeling fairly comfortable," Palmer says.
ABC7's Brad Bell sees those steps Palmer mentioned as he and his photographer Mike Vaughn arrive on campus.
Vaughn and Bell are stopped at a screening station for a temperature check and questionnaire. Arriving students are directed to a COVID testing station in a parking lot. As Bell and Vaughn enter the student center there is another temperature check for me.
Bell and Vaughn are shown a classroom set up for social distancing in a ballroom where there will be no school dances this year.
Campus custodial contractor ABM Industries employees demonstrate an electrostatic disinfectant sprayer to be used between classes and in public areas of dorms. Another worker wipes frequently touched surfaces. It's all part of a process the company calls enhanced cleaning says ABM Vice President Tom Gallo.
"This is not just spraying down surfaces or wiping," Gallo says, "There is a real process behind it. You have to leave the disinfectant down for a certain amount of time to make sure it kills the virus you have to wipe it in a certain way."
Ervin says he sees what's being done and he appreciates it. He also hopes it works. "I was home too long," Ervin says, "Being here, I just gotta stay safe and keep hand sanitizer on me, keep my mask on. I should be good."