Campus security’s role in coronavirus mitigation at Wilkes University

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — With every school campus, there’s bound to be some unique issues, especially in the times of a pandemic. On Wilkes University’s campus, there are several steps being taken to keep the population safe and we’re told much of it is voluntary.

“It’s not normal. It’s not even remotely close to being normal, but I think there’s been a lot of forward thought given into what’s going to happen when students come back.” said Wilkes University Police Chief Christopher Jagoe.

College campuses facing a global pandemic and each getting by in their own ways. But what are the responsibilities of those who work campus security or police?

“Generally what we do is when we have officers that are out on patrol, if we see people that are violating the mask mandate, or standing too close together,” Jagoe noted. “We’ll go over and gently remind them that that’s the mandate here on campus and then follow that.”

Jagoe told Eyewitness News it’s a rare occurrence. A voluntary online assessment in the schools resource smartphone app is also playing its part.

“We have that ability to add in a COVID-19 assessment test and what that does. Each day we encourage people just to think about their own health and their wellness.”

Speaking with students on campus, especially those who are here for their first year? It shows you why many are on board.

“Especially with this whole COVID thing, I want to stay as safe as possible so when I do remember I usually do it every day,” said Wilkes freshman Kaelin Hughes.

“It makes me feel better about leaving my dorm room and going out here and hanging out with my friends and everything. It makes me feel a lot safer, ” added fellow freshman Colonel, Ashley Gangaware.

On average, 500 students, faculty and staff take the online assessment, a day, for their health and those around them.

“We’re all part of a large campus community we all play a significant role in making sure we’re safe and secure. Before we come here,” Jagoe told Eyewitness News.

“It’s not required for everybody but if people do take advantage of that and wash themselves, then we can keep the numbers as low as possible and it’ll be a safer environment for everybody else,” added Hughes.

While those walking the beat or an online assessment may not be able to completely mitigate the risk of COVID-19? Those we’ve spoken to, say it definitely helps.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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