University of Minnesota will return to in-person classes fall semester

Through studying vaccination and infection rates of COVID-19, University administration has decided it will be safe for students to return.

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Nur B. Adam

Social distancing signs flag down seats in Hanson lecture halls on Tuesday, July 28 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. All classes during July-mester enforced social distance protocols.

Emalyn Muzzy, City Reporter

The University of Minnesota announced today that come fall 2021, in-person classes across all five campuses will resume.

As of right now, face masks and social distancing will be enforced. The University will also continue to provide COVID-19 testing for all students. University community members should keep practicing regular handwashing and will be encouraged to stay home if feeling sick.

“Unforeseen changes in the pandemic may cause us to adjust our planning, but for now we are confident that this decision is supported by the trends related to pandemic, vaccination rates and the high degree of compliance that Minnesotans overall have shown to reduce the spread of the virus,” Joan Gabel said in a press release.

In the near term, whether commencement for graduating students will be virtual or in-person is up to the individual colleges. The College of Liberal Arts announced Thursday that the University’s largest college would one again hold commencement online this year.

Gabel’s announcement comes around the one-year anniversary of the University switching to remote learning indefinitely. The 2020-2021 school year saw a return to some normalcy with hybrid classes, but many remained remote.

The University will continue to watch COVID-19 infection and vaccination rates as well as talk to public health officials, but the administration feels assured that it will be safer to resume in-person activities.

“We do this with deep appreciation for the enormous transitions that we have all endured in the past year and in recognition that our fall plans will restore a degree of normalcy for our community that so many seek,” Gabel said.