UConn has painted a picture of what campus life will look like when students return to school in the fall amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
UConn President Thomas Katsouleas has provided guidance for students and staff that will allow students to get back to class, though there will be social distancing and other restrictions in place.
“Our goal is to provide the highest-quality UConn education and campus experience as possible while also protecting the health of our community,” he said. ‘So returning’ does not mean ‘back to normal.’
“Our draft plans call for an academic semester and campus experience that will be unlike any we have seen previously,” he added. “Successfully coming back and maintaining safety will require the cooperation and flexibility of our entire community during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
Under the plan, the first day of classes would be Monday, Aug. 31, with a hybrid-learning model that includes both in-person and remote classes. Students will not return following Thanksgiving break and the remainder of the semester, including final exams, will be entirely online.
Dorms will be at 30 percent capacity, and students living in them will be tested immediately upon arriving at the campus. Students will return two weeks earlier this year to allow for a 14-day quarantine before classes kick-off.
They can still leave their dorm rooms and grab food at the cafeteria, but they are expected to stay six feet apart and wear masks.
The capacity of classrooms will be reduced, with social distancing protocols put in place to ensure six feet of separation between people. Face coverings will also be required by all, which will be provided by the university when necessary.
If a student is diagnosed with COVID-19, UConn has special rooms for them set aside to allow for medical isolation and quarantine. Students who violate the school’s COVID-19 protocols will be disciplined and could face getting kicked off-campus.
“Health screening and monitoring will be continuous and we will reinforce the ‘stay home when ill’ mandate for both employees and students at all times,” Katsouleas said. "We will promote frequent hand washing and/or sanitizers, physical distancing, and regular cleaning and disinfection of campus spaces.
“This is new for all of us. And returning successfully and safely depends on all of us,” Katsouleas continued. “The hallmarks of success will be resiliency, flexibility, understanding, cooperation, and, as always, creativity.
“Fortunately, Huskies have each of these qualities in abundance. I believe there is no challenge we cannot meet and rise above as long as we remember that we are in this together.”
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