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ND announces early start, end to fall semester

| Monday, May 18, 2020

Notre Dame will begin the 2020 fall semester the week of August 10, eliminating fall break and finishing the semester before Thanksgiving, University President Fr. John Jenkins said in an email to students on Monday.

In addition to preventing the spread of viruses caused by students leaving for breaks, becoming exposed to infections and then returning to campus, the University plans on instating a comprehensive testing protocol. Students who test positive will be isolated and those who have come in close contact will be quarantined.

“We will continue the testing, contact tracing and quarantining protocol throughout the semester, acting aggressively to isolate or quarantine as necessary,” Jenkins said in the email. “We will also institute a number of other health and safety measures.”

Jenkins also said many or all of the programs during the second half of the summer session will be cancelled in order to prepare for the fall semester.

“We are considering options that will allow the return of a very small number of students in July, mainly those whose summer work is preparatory for the fall semester,” Jenkins said.

Within the coming weeks, a Research Task Force will create a plan to reopen research labs, studios and libraries on campus. Notre Dame International is still considering the feasibility of study abroad programs in the fall semester. Jenkins said in the email the decision for study abroad programs will be announced in June, and in the result of the cancellation of international programs, students planning on studying abroad will have housing on campus.

Notre Dame will also prepare for a sudden, severe resurgence of COVID-19 cases, Jenkins said.

“If such an outbreak occurs, we may need to return to remote instruction,” Jenkins said in the email. “We have asked faculty to be prepared to move instruction online should this be necessary, and to provide remote learning opportunities to students who may be in isolation or quarantined.”

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