Notre Dame will allow students back on campus for 2020 fall semester

Grant Boone
May 21, 2020

Notre Dame International is still considering the feasibility of study overseas programs in the fall semester.

The university posted a revised schedule on its website for the fall term that calls for resuming on-campus classes August 24 with online instruction and virtual finals between Thanksgiving and the spring semester.

Notre Dame is making national headlines after announcing a plan to have students back on campus this fall.

In contrast, the California State University system said it will not allow students back on campus this fall unless they are taking part in hands-on learning experiences.

The university says its officials have consulted with experts for months to develop a "robust plan to ensure to the greatest extent possible the health and safety" of its community. Testing, contact tracing, and the quarantine-isolation protocols will continue throughout the semester and as long as necessary.

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University Spokesperson Paul Browne says he recognizes the challenges of reopening for the fall semester but believes Notre Dame is prepared.

"The plan, conceived for students, faculty and staff, will include comprehensive testing for COVID-19, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation protocols, social distancing and mask requirements, and enhanced cleaning of all campus spaces", according to the university's website.

As part of its planning, the university says it has identified facilities to isolate students who test positive and quarantine those who have been in close contact.

Within the coming weeks, a Research Task Force will create a plan to reopen research labs, studios and libraries on campus. They also canceled all summer classes, except for a small number of students who needed to complete summer work to prepare for the fall semester.

"COVID is a risk but there is also a risk for failing to educate young people who will be our leaders of tomorrow", Notre Dame's president, Father John Jenkins, said.

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