Upon Southern Methodist University (SMU) students returning to Dallas after five months, the university was at a “moderate” operational level, which means the outbreak of COVID-19 was still a risk yet maintained. Under the “moderate” operational level, classes adhered to the hybrid model, SMUFlex.
After three weeks on The Hilltop, SMU cases have spiked, and the university has moved to a “high” operational level.
The availability of isolation spaces is one of many factors SMU considered when deciding to move from a “moderate” operational level to a “high” operational level.
Before students returned to campus, SMU prepared 127 isolation spaces, including 15 wellness pods, 44 rooms in Martin Hall, 16 rooms in Dyer House and 52 rooms in Perkins Hall.
According to SMU’s COVID-19 Dashboard, there are 261 active cases, and 56 of the 127 isolation spaces are in use as of Sunday night.
SMU is working to increase the number of on-campus isolation spaces, so students do not have to return home or check into a hotel.
While part of SMU’s definition of a “high” operational level includes moving class instruction away from SMUFlex and toward remote learning, it assures classroom instruction will continue at a “moderate” operational level. Other campus spaces, such as Dedman Center, library spaces, dining halls, residence halls, common areas and the health center, will continue at a “moderate” operational level.