U.Va.’s fall semester reopening plan released

As schools continue to develop plans for emerging from coronavirus restrictions and reopening for the fall semester, the University of Virginia is releasing new information for students who want to return when classes start on Aug. 25.

The school unveiled a website filled with answers to questions that students may have.

“In public spaces, students will be expected to follow all university and public health guidelines,” officials said in a message on the website.

Masks or face coverings will be required in common areas, and everyone will be told to stay six feet away from each other.

Dining room seating capacity will be reduced by 50%.

All students will be given face coverings, containers of hand sanitizer and a touch-tool that can they can use to open doors and press keypad buttons without using their hands.

“There will be guidelines for communal bathrooms, including assigning students to specific sinks, stalls, and showers, and limiting the number of students at any given time,” officials said.

“Public areas in residence halls will undergo increased cleaning efforts and hand sanitizer stands will be readily available.”

While the university expects many students to return for the fall semester, it is keeping options open to make sure that students can learn remotely if that is what they feel most comfortable with.

Large classes will be all online, and courses offered in-person will include a remote option.

“Regardless of where students are, our aim will be to provide all of them an engaging and enriching academic experience,” officials said.

Students, faculty and staff members will be required to track their symptoms every day using an app, and COVID-19 tests will be made available to anyone who exhibits symptoms.

Separately, plans are in the works to potentially test all students upon arrival.

“The university has plans to isolate students living on grounds who test positive, and to quarantine exposed students,” officials said.

Earlier this week, the University of Maryland rolled out plans for reopening for the fall semester, telling students they would need to track their symptoms every day and get tested for COVID-19 if they report having a fever or any other symptoms.

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Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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