NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Life has returned to the Iona College campus.

But due to the coronavirus pandemic, it doesn’t look the same.

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Masks are required on campus.

Junior Maeve Ellen Wydan told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez on Tuesday she’s comforted by the changes.

“Just walking around you see all of the students, the faculty, staff, taking the precautions. Everyone’s wearing face masks. Everyone is social distancing,” Wydan said.

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Online classes started Monday. Of the 4,000 students enrolled at Iona, 60% will be taking classes on campus when in-person learning begins next week.

All students and faculty are required to test negative for COVID-19 within 14 days prior to returning to campus. Every day thereafter, everyone must answer a health survey on the college-created Gael Care mobile app.

“If you’re symptom free, you get a badge. And when you get that badge, you have to show it before entering a classroom, or the library or the offices, just to add that extra layer of security so that you know the campus is healthy,” Iona College communications director Diana Costello said.

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“I think it’s good. Most students will follow it,” sophomore Daniel Pope said.


Mask and social distancing reminders are posted everywhere, including on the floor of the cafeteria line. Tables are spread out. Classrooms are spaced appropriately. Transparent plastic sheets have been installed for professors to speak behind, and new classroom cameras have been installed so students can attend virtually.

Other campuses, like at Molloy College on Long Island, have temperature-checking stations at every building.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Iona has also adjusted its campus housing. Now, no more than two students are allowed in each dorm room.

Iona staff will police campus to make sure everyone follows safety guidelines.

“With college students, we are gonna have those … some that don’t listen and those that are gonna listen,” sophomore Biliami Hopoi said.

“If you’re seen not wearing your mask you can start off getting a warning and the penalties would increase from there,” Costello added.

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College administrators say health and safety is a priority and they will not tolerate anyone who doesn’t respect the rules.