University to reopen as new COVID-19 cases decrease
Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, September 2, 2020
University President Fr. John Jenkins announced in a Friday address to the campus community that undergraduate classes would begin to return to in-person instruction in phases, commencing today. Courses in the 10000 and 20000 families will resume today with other classes returning to normal instruction Sept. 7. Certain courses may return today at the discretion of a dean or department chair.
In his address, Jenkins urged students to wear masks, maintain physical distance and wash their hands. He also asked students to continue completing their daily health checks and come in to get surveillance tested when called.
“We must do these things if we are to have a safe and successful semester on campus,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins announced Aug. 18 that undergraduate courses would be taught remotely for at least two weeks after the University reported a single day COVID-19 case count of 89 the previous day. In addition to the shift to online classes, residential halls were restricted to residents only, and off-campus students were instructed to not come onto campus.
As cases began to decrease over the past two weeks, Jenkins announced the return to in-person classes. As of Tuesday at noon, the University had reported a total of 583 cases since Aug. 3, with six additional cases since Monday and a seven-day positivity rate of 2.7%.
In response to Notre Dame’s announcement to restart in-person classes, interim vice president of student affairs Gloria Roldán Jenkins gave the Saint Mary’s student body updated information on how the decision affects the College.
Though students are now allowed to go to Notre Dame’s campus, Jenkins asked that they only attend essential gatherings.
“Even though ND’s campus will open on Sept. 2, we ask that students only go to the ND campus for necessary activities like class, band practice and student organization meetings,” Jenkins said.
The Sweep and Blinkie will resume service to accommodate students traveling across campuses.
“Beginning Sept. 2, the Sweep will resume its normal schedule,” Jenkins said. “Blinkie will begin the ND loop on Sept. 4. The last run to the Grotto at ND is at 9 p.m.”
The College has reported a total of 31 confirmed cases since Aug. 3, with one additional confirmed case Monday.