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Students Return to BCF Campus for first time under new COVID guidelines

Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 5:13 PM CDT
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GRACEVILLE, Fla (WTVY) - Classes are now underway at the Baptist College of Florida, as students returned to campus Monday for the first since March due to the pandemic.

BCF becomes the first local college near the Wiregrass to re-open under new health and safety guidelines.

“I’ve been here 31 years almost, and this is the strangest opening that we’ve ever had,” BCF President Dr. Thomas Kinchen said.

Kinchen says campus leaders have been getting ready for the first day of classes for weeks.

“Our plans and our preparations have worked towards this. We have had select committees working. We have done deep cleaning, we have misting, we have done painting,” Kinchen said.

The college released a list of COVID-19 guidelines for students and faculty to follow. The guidelines include temperature checks before entering buildings and limiting places to students and faculty access only are a few of the changes. Deep cleanings are also taking place daily.

“There’s a lot of reminders all throughout the campus. Like hey, remember to wash your hands. A lot of places, we have to wear masks,” student Adam McClure said.

Student Mary Klein returned for her senior year. She was one of many students who were ready to get back.

“I’m going to be totally honest, I was nervous about like not being able to have fun with friends again. But we’ve been able to find creative ways around, like being 6 feet apart and still playing games,” Klein said.

Some chapel services and dorm meetings are being held in the outside gazebo to give everyone a six foot distance...

“Safety-wise, I feel like we have done a great job with our protocols and making sure everyone in the campus is safe,” student Rhett Dillhyon said.

At the end of the day, Kinchen says he wants students and faculty to follow the guidelines to help keep everyone safe.

“Be responsible, don’t be foolish. I find that a lot of folks will confuse faith and foolishness,” Kinchen said.

Students living in on-campus housing are living in single rooms, just in case a COVID-19 outbreak happens.

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