CNN reports that many universities are admitting the fact that in-person classes will not resume until 2021.
Schools such as Boston University have already canceled all face-to-face classes and summer activities in the wake of COVID-19. Online classes will remain and limited housing and dining services will be available.
The main goal was for classes to reopen in the fall but, per an online statement, the university is preparing for the unlikeliness of that happening.
“The Recovery Plan recognizes that if, in the unlikely event that public health officials deem it unsafe to open in the fall of 2020, then the University’s contingency plan envisions the need to consider a later in-person return, perhaps in January 2021,” the university said.
President Robert A. Brown is hoping for students to return in the fall as a best case scenario and is focused on finding the best safest ways to do so. Other schools such as Harvard are taking similar precautions. President Lawrence S. Bacow stated that their campus is contemplating “lots of different scenarios” for the fall semester.
Alongside Harvard, Oregon State’s spokesman Steve Clark told The Oreganian in regards to the fall semester, “Only the novel coronavirus will determine what happens. We can hope for a full return in fall 2020, but hope is not a strategy. So that is why we are going to prepare as best we can for every possible contingency.”
The University of Arizona is also remaining hopeful for a return to campus for the fall semester. The university delivered a statement to the Arizona Daily Star saying, “We are cautiously optimistic that the fall semester will be able to launch with the normal face-to-face campus experience, but of course we will prioritize the health and well-being of our community in making that decision.”