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OU to reopen campuses this fall

Groups working on safety plans

Ohio University is planning to reopen its campuses to students this fall after closing them in March.

“With the health and safety of our University community at the top of our minds, we are planning for our new normal,” president M. Duane Nellis said. “It is our hope and intention that we will return to in-person instruction in the fall if it is safe for us to do so.”

The university is using guidance from Gov. Mike DeWine and public health officials and coming up with several scenarios to safely reopen on-campus operations. Ohio University is also talking with other state colleges and universities to help guide their decision-making process as the impact of the pandemic continues to unfold.

The university has developed working groups to collaborate on planning for fall semester, including a public health group focused on testing and quarantine needs and coordinating with local public health officials, a group focused on personal protective equipment supplies and procurement, a group focused on bringing employees back safely, an academic scenario planning group, a student experiences group, an academic policy group and a group focused on research and lab spaces.

Plans from each group will go to a coordinating council that will make recommendations to the Nellis by the end of June.

As information about the virus continues to evolve, the university said it will adjust as necessary and it recognizes the need to be prepared to respond to changes in the trajectory of the virus and decisions made by the state to protect the health and safety of our campus communities.

“Should it be necessary or required to start the fall semester remotely, we will be prepared with a full array of courses using innovative modalities,” said executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Sayrs said. “Our outstanding faculty are already working with the Office of Instructional Innovation and University Libraries to draw on the University’s longstanding strength in distance education.”

Additional information and updates will be posted online at www.ohio.edu/coronavirus.