Notre Dame plans to reopen campus for students this fall despite coronavirus outbreak

Notre Dame University will reopen its campus on Aug. 10.
Notre Dame University will reopen its campus on Aug. 10.(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Notre Dame students will be heading back to South Bend for the fall semester like normal, regardless of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 90,000 people in the United States so far.
The fall semester will begin two weeks early, on Aug. 10, and run through until before Thanksgiving, forgoing its October break, the school announced Monday.
“By far the most complex challenge before us is the return of our students to campus for the resumption of classes in the fall semester,” university president Rev. John I. Jenkins wrote in a statement. “Bringing our students back is in effect assembling a small city of people from many parts of the nation and the world, who may bring with them pathogens to which they have been exposed. We recognize the challenge, but we believe it is one we can meet.”
Students, faculty and staff will be subject to comprehensive coronavirus testing, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation protocols, social distancing and mask requirements, the school said.
All campus spaces will undergo “enhanced cleaning.”
Anyone who tests positive or who comes into contact with someone who has tested positive will be quarantined in an on-campus facility.
“As we adapt to the new normal brought on by the coronavirus, we will do everything we can to provide you with a safe learning, research and working environment,” Jenkins wrote.

Notre Dame is still working on plans to reopen research labs, studios and libraries.

It’s unclear whether sports, including the powerhouse football team, will proceed as usual.

Colleges and universities have been slowly rolling out plans for the fall semester, which seems poised to be derailed by coronavirus.

Ithaca College said Monday that it will return in-person on Oct. 5, while others, including the California State University system, will stay online.

The rush to finish the semester before Thanksgiving is intended to get students and faculty off campus before the expected second wave of coronavirus.

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