To decrease the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on USU campuses, the university began planning updates for fall semester. Classrooms were surveyed and marked to ensure social distancing for in-person classes, and many professors created course content for both in-person and remote delivery. Members of the campus community were encouraged to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by masking up, practicing social distancing, and washing their hands.
USU prepared to monitor COVID-19 infection trends by analyzing sewage samples taken from on-campus student housing facilities. Biological engineering faculty and students had already confirmed coronavirus could be detected in sewage that enters wastewater treatment facilities. Wastewater samples were collected at strategic locations to help pinpoint potential outbreaks of COVID-19. Monitoring wastewater identified where targeted testing could potentially contain cases.
Summer of Service
USU Extension partnered with the Utah Farm Bureau and Miracle of Agriculture Foundation on a series of Farmers Feeding Utah miracle projects. Through grassroots and corporate donations, funds raised were used to purchase products from Utah farmers, which were then donated to more than 18,200 individuals and families in need and 30 pantries throughout the state. In Utah, over 82,000 individuals recently lost employment. With those numbers continuing to rise, the demand for food assistance is up 300%.
The Utah Conservation Corps, housed in USU’s Center for Community Engagement, continued to serve Utah’s parks and public lands after the COVID-19 pandemic began by adapting to social distancing and travel protocols.
USU Eastern alum Bud Frazier worked to create "NavajoStrong," a non-profit, grassroots effort to collect critical supplies and distribute them to families throughout the reservation.