University of Vermont announces coronavirus precautions for safe fall return to campus

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University of Vermont President Suresh Garimella announced a plan to safely bring students back to campus this fall. 

Following an announcement in late April that he hoped to bring students back, Garimella told the UVM community on Monday, June 15, that university’s Board of Trustees had voted to return to on-campus operations.

He also outlined a series of safety and health protocols that will guide the return, including a health pledge, decreasing the density of residence halls and making large events like Parents and Family weekend remote or virtual. 

The academic schedule will be modified this fall so that in-person instruction will be finished before Thanksgiving break, and the last week of classes and final exams will be conducted remotely. 

The university will also evaluate options for students, faculty and staff with underlying health issues, including remote instruction options and the reassignment of courses. 

UMV enrolls more than 12,000 students. 

“While many aspects of campus life will not be the same, I look forward to welcoming our full community back to a vibrant reopened university in the fall,” Garimella said. 

Some of the strategies that UVM will use to safely operate in the fall include: 

  • Health screenings for students, staff and faculty, as well as coronavirus testing and contact tracing. 
  • Requiring face coverings for all students, staff and faculty outside of personal spaces.
  • Limiting of residence hall density, and the designation of quarantine and isolation spaces. 
  • Providing safety kits, containing items like hand sanitizer and face coverings, to all community members.
  • Suspending most school-sponsored travel.
  • Creating a formal health pledge.

Contact Riley Board at rboard@freepressmedia.com. 

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