The start of the new academic year is always challenging for educational institutions. This year, even more so. With the current global pandemic, there is no way to anticipate the possible continued threats posed by COVID-19, or how best to proceed if the virus continues to spread. The LCC International University community and administrative team raised these questions early in preparation for the new academic year. As we are ending the second week of classes, LCC feels it has prepared well for these COVID-19 challenges.
A Covid Preparedness Team (CPT) has been formed at the University that regularly addresses issues related to this extraordinary situation, and had developed a Fall 2020 reopening plan for the ever-changing COVID-19 situation in the country and/or within the university itself. The plan is divided into color levels, each of which implies certain restrictions or conversely, confers certain freedoms. CPT monitors the information of the Ministry of Health, and the National Center for Public Health, along with the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and other sources on a daily basis and applies their recommendations to the educational process and community at LCC International University.
"The University’s decision is that if in the case of even one student or staff member being diagnosed with COVID-19 on campus and fails to identify all those who may have been exposed, the University will switch to a remote learning program and staff will work from home," said Margarita Pavlovič, VP of Student Life at LCC International University and Head of the CPT.
The CPT together with the university administration, also made an official decision to refuse to participate in the two-kilometer run "Nuspalvink Klaipėdą," organized for students of all Klaipeda higher education institutions.
As scheduled, adult evening courses to deepen English Language skills, will start at LCC International University next week, and classes for school children will start the following week. LCC International University has prepared all classes for safe learning on its premises. Classes will be consistently disinfected and ventilated. All course participants seating is designed for safe social distancing, and participants will be required to wear masks. However, with the changing situation of COVID-19 in the country, LCC is also prepared for the possibility to continue organizing courses remotely if necessary.
LCC has also made a decision that premises are currently only open to the LCC International University community. In order to protect students, it is necessary that only members of the LCC community use the gym, fitness room and cafe.
Although there are currently several confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the university, all of them are controlled, with affected students in self-isolation. Understanding the public's concern for safety, LCC emphasizes that the situation at the university is managed and all students with positive test results, as well as those who have travelled, will isolate themselves upon arrival in Lithuania. If a person violates the rules of self-isolation, he or she would be possibly expelled from the university.
Even before the regulations of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport appeared on how universities should work during the pandemic, LCC International University not only met students at airports and transported them to Klaipeda, helped them get tested for COVID-19, but also provided comprehensive supervision during the isolation period. Since the beginning of August, when the university began admitting students, LCC had already handled over 100 students during their 14-day self-isolation, with a number of students still in self-isolation in the beginning weeks of classes.