The University of Notre Dame is planning to open its doors for the fall semester. And classes – yes, classes – will be held in-person, not remotely.
Notre Dame, which shut its doors in mid-March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), announced earlier today that the fall semester will begin two weeks earlier than scheduled during the week of August 10 and conclude before Thanksgiving. Additionally, the school will not have an October break.
The University has canceled academic and summer programs through July 6, but the campus has been the home to some students “whose summer work is preparatory for the fall semester,” according to Father John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
“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,” Father Jenkins wrote in today’s announcement about the upcoming fall semester.
While it will certainly be a challenge to bring every member of the student body, as well as the faculty and staff back to campus, Father Jenkins knows for Notre Dame will be prepared to carry out its safety plan, which will include testing, contact tracing, quarantining and isolating, along with social distancing and mask-wearing. Notre Dame said it plans to enhance its “cleaning of all campus spaces,” and has identified certain facilities to house those that test positive or came in contact with someone that has the virus. They also plan to develop signage while utilizing various forms of communication to stay in touch with the campus community.
“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.
While the news should certainly spark excitement for Notre Dame students, there was however, nothing reported about sporting events, including the university’s football team, which is scheduled to play its first game of the 2020 season at home on September 12 against Arkansas.