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Utah colleges plan on heading back to campus in the fall

May 28, 2020, 1:21 PM
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Ariel view of Utah State University campus. Photo credit: KSL 5 TV

SALT LAKE CITY– Utah’s public colleges and universities are starting to release their plans for returning to campus for the fall 2020 semester.

College campuses want to welcome students back safely, meaning some instruction may include a mix of online or virtual learning.

The governor’s Executive Order issued Wednesday said: “campuses may be open for in-person classes with increased cleaning and hygiene regimen. In cooperation with the Utah System of Higher Education, each institution will develop individualized plans for repopulating campus, monitoring for incidence, containing outbreaks, and reclosing if necessary.”

Utah colleges preparing for in-person classes 

The Utah System of Higher Education developed a set of “gating conditions.”

Those gating conditions include more testing, contact tracing, PPE, and hygiene.

“Though we can’t fully predict what the fall will look like, we feel we are on a trajectory to welcome our students back to campus while taking necessary precautions,” said Dave R. Woolstenhulme, Interim Commissioner of Higher Education in their news release. “We have worked, and will continue to work, to be as adaptable in our plans as possible as we receive updated recommendations from state and federal leaders to ensure a safe environment for our students, faculty, staff, and broader communities.”

There won’t be a “one-size-fits-all” approach for the Utah’s higher education system. For example, the University of Utah could have different needs than Southern Utah University, and surrounding counties may have different health orders.

Private universities in Utah, such as Westminster College and BYU, are also starting to talk more about their plans and will continue to do so over the summer.

Updated guidelines from every Utah college and university can be found by visiting each college or university’s social media channels and web sites.

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Utah colleges plan on heading back to campus in the fall