Top 10 biggest COVID-19 changes on campus

August has always signified the start of the school year, with Georgia State students filling downtown Atlanta’s streets as they look for their new classrooms or old classmates. This year is unmistakably different.

The Signal has compiled a list of the most significant changes to campus to accommodate the current conditions.

Mask policy

  • Masks are required inside all university facilities (including in dining and at athletic events) and must be worn outside where a six-foot distance isn’t possible. Masks are not required while alone in a study room or dorm or when outside where social distancing is possible.
  • Those who do not comply will be denied entry, and repeated offenses may lead to disciplinary actions through the appropriate conduct code. 
  • Custom Georgia State masks are available for pick-up in the Student Center. 

Getting Around on Campus

  • Panther ID cards are necessary for entry instead of the digital finger scanners. 
  • Each elevator is expected to hold a maximum of four people. 
  • Plexiglass guards have been installed in service windows, and cash is no longer accepted.


  • To enter the Recreation Center, visitors must answer a series of COVID-19-related questions and have a temperature of less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Communal equipment is no longer available, so students are encouraged to bring personal supplies. 
  • No contact or team sports are allowed, and select areas of the facility are closed.
  • The library’s north entrance is undergoing construction, meaning the facility can only be accessed through the library’s south doors. 
  • The tables are arranged for a maximum of two people and a majority of the study rooms are single occupancy. 
  • Most books are available for check-out through the university’s new self-checkout registers.


  • Parking registration, permits and MARTA Breeze Cards will be distributed through the USPS. 
  • Panther Express will only run the Purple and Blue routes from 7 a.m. to midnight. 

Campus Dining

  • Employees will undergo health checks. 
  • Seating is arranged for distancing, and the occupancy will be monitored to follow the CDC guidelines. 
  • Every three to four hours, dining halls will be closed for 30 minutes to disinfect the area. 
  • The university also plans to implement Panther PickUp, a system to order food to-go.  


  • The university plans to hold fall sports, including football, tennis, cross country, court volleyball, soccer and golf. 
  • Georgia State’s stadium can reach 50% occupancy, which allows a maximum of 13,000 fans to attend games. 
  • The Sports Arena and Georgia State Soccer Complex are also open this semester.

COVID-19 Testing

  • COVID-19 testing is recommended, but not required, for all students, staff and faculty. 
  • The Student Health Clinic is offering two types of tests for symptomatic students. 
    • The university has limited nasal PCR testing, the most accurate form, which is prioritized for students in dorms and those involved in university-sponsored activities.
    • Saliva-based tests are available for students who are identified as at risk for exposure to the virus. 
  • The clinic will also administer weekly tests to randomized groups of students in the dorms. 
  • The clinic is available to help asymptomatic students schedule local, off-campus tests. 
  • Students who test positive for COVID-19 can voluntarily report through the university’s reporting system, used to track any spread and inform those who may have been exposed. The university plans to keep the identity of the positive students confidential.

Blended and Online Classes

  • Each class type can be found through PAWS by going to “My Registration,” then “View Course Schedule.” A symbol is displayed next to each class: A “O” refers to online-only instruction, a “B” indicates a blended course and a “F” means face-to-face instruction. 
  • In blended classes, the classroom density is reduced to 25% and students are assigned their meeting day based on alphabetical order by last name. Students can check with individual professors or on iCollege for specific meeting days and times. 
  • Students who are uncomfortable with in-person instruction are encouraged to contact their advisor.

Housing Policies

  • Georgia State dorms have reached about 75% occupancy by altering housing plans. 
  • In the dorms, a maximum of two people share a bathroom, a maximum of four people share an apartment and shared rooms are restricted to Piedmont North. 
  • Students are unable to have guests, including those who live in another dorm building. 

Campus Sanitation 

  • The university’s air units already have filters, and Georgia State plans on distributing mobile air purifiers around campus. 
  • The custodial staff has a new sanitation system, including daily door handle disinfecting, elevators and restrooms. 
  • Additional hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout high-trafficked areas on campus.