The W prepares for students to return to campus Monday

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – For some colleges in our area, classes start back as soon as Monday.

However, getting the campus ready for students is a little more challenging this year.

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It takes hundreds of faculty members, thousands of pounds of sanitizer, and about a million dollars to pull it off.

A typical day for Jason Trufant starts at 5 a.m.

His official title is Director of Athletics for The W.

Lately, he’s known as the COVID Response Coordinator– a title he takes pride in.

“Our first priority is your health and safety. That hasn’t changed from what it used to be prior to COVID, that’s always been the focus,” said Trufant.

One of Trufant’s many duties includes ordering cleaning supplies for each building on campus.

“Supplies are ordered daily. So, we’ll wake up one day and we’ll get to campus and we’ll say well we’re going to need more of this. For example, on Monday we added 150 spray bottles and 50 gallons of additional cleaner,” said Trufant.

It’s not just your regular ole cleaner. The W uses a special electrostatic cleaning solution.

That’s a fancy way of saying the mist covers a wider range and doesn’t have to be wiped down.

“You’ll have chairs that are six feet apart. Our instructors are ten feet from the student. You’ll see traffic flow patterns that have been installed over the last three weeks, hand sanitizer stations that have been installed, pylons of hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, all the things that the campus is getting prepared for, for classes to start on Monday,” said Trufant.

Trufant doesn’t do all this alone.

“We have an incident response team, we have a COVID response team. We have our entire ABM cleaning staff involved in this,” said Trufant.

Trufant said the pandemic may end, but some of The W’s new guidelines are here to stay.

“We know that down the road, things are going to change as they change by the minute and we’re prepared to deal with those changes and adjust,” said Trufant.

Trufant said there’s no way to put a number on just how much the school will spend on COVID-19 response, but so far, they’ve received about a million dollars from the state.