As the fall semester of college nears, the staff of Hazard Community and Technical College are preparing for the school's re-opening of in-person classes. According to officials with the school, many steps have been taken to ensure the safety of the students and staff.

One step the college has taken in preparation for its opening is that each college in the KCTCS service area has named a Healthy at Work Officer to oversee all health and safety on the organization's campuses. HCTC, said President Dr. Jennifer Lindon, has named Dr. Paul Currie as HCTC's Healthy At Work Officer. Curries' duties will include overseeing compliance of COVID-19 health and safety rules and regulations.

All employees, said HCTC officials, will take training before returning to campus, and will complete a daily online health check to make sure they are healthy before coming to work. Additionally, students will be asked to do a self-temperature check every day before coming onto campus.

Masks will be required for everyone while on the campus. Floor signage will be set up throughout the campus buildings to remind everyone of social distancing, and other signage will be made visible throughout the buildings to reinforce CDC recommendations. Some common areas on the campus will be closed to avoid large groups congregating. Campus staff will also continue to clean and sanitize surfaces, doors and other areas that are frequently touched, said officials with HCTC.

Classrooms will look different this semester as well, said Lindon. Classrooms will be spaced out to enable students and staff to practice social distancing. Plexiglass has also been installed to protect the students and employees. In addition to that, HCTC is limiting the class sizes and moving classes to larger classrooms where necessary.

For students who are not comfortable returning to in-person classes, HCTC has 57 percent of courses available totally online for the fall 2020 semester. The college is also offering 33 percent of their classes as hybrid courses, which will limit the number of days and hours a student is required to be on campus. HCTC also has HCTC Flex available for many courses. With HCTC Flex, students can attend class in-person or online at the set scheduled class time.

Classes for the fall semester are scheduled to begin Monday, August 17. Drive-in registration will be available in front of the First Federal Center at HCTC from 2-6 p.m. on July 20-21. Tents will be set up for those wishing to enroll while staying in their cars. Admission staff, financial aid staff and advisers will be available to make enrolling as easy as possible. Masks or other face coverings will be required during registration, as will social distancing. There will be giveaways at this time, and everyone that registers will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win a laptop. On July 22-23, drive-in registration will be held at the Lees College Campus.

For more information, contact, 1-800-246-5721, or, (606) 487-3293.

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