After pushing back the return to classes for students at three of its campuses, the University of Minnesota has revealed its plan for their return.
President Joan Gabel announced the plan Tuesday, stating that the intention is for student move-in dates of Sept. 9 at its Duluth campus, Sept. 15 for the Twin Cities, and Sept. 18 in Rochester.
What's more, as part of its efforts to limit the potential for initial outbreaks of COVID-19 seen at other colleges, the U of M is proposing an effective 10-day quarantine limiting student movements once they arrive.
In all situations, even after restrictions are loosened, students are "asked to wear masks, maintain physical distancing, and avoid large gatherings."
Step One of its plan is described as follows: "Students living in housing will have limited on-campus activities. They will live and learn almost exclusively within residence halls for at least 10 days with some exceptions, such as attending any in-person classes, utilizing dining or campus health facilities, going to work, tending to family emergencies, or being outdoors while physically distancing.
"Students should not visit other residence halls, nor businesses or residences off campus during this step."
Step Two will then loosen restrictions, allowing students to have access to all campus locations and the "surrounding community," but with a 9 p.m. curfew to limit late-night off-campus activities. This step is expected to last two weeks.
Step Three is the same as Step Two, but the curfew will be pushed back to midnight.
Step Four is again the same as Step Three, but with no curfew.
"Students, I know this is a lot to ask, especially of the many of you who will be experiencing campus life for the first time," Gabel said. "It will be a challenge, but it is worth it. We have such confidence in each of you. Your choices and judgment at each step will play a critical role in allowing us to progress to the final phase, and your work to keep yourself and others safe and healthy will pay off in the opportunity for all students to remain on campus, rather than reverting to distance learning as we did in the spring."
The Crookston and Morris campuses have already reopened with looser restrictions, albeit a 9 p.m. curfew has been introduced in Crookston until Sept. 8.