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Go Back to the List April 15, 2020
Universities begin considering the possibility of canceling in-person classes until 2021

A number of universities are beginning to consider the possibility that in-person classes may not resume until 2021.
Boston University has already canceled all "in-person summer activities" on its primary campus. But the school's coronavirus recovery plan includes protocols should officials deem it not safe to return in-person for the fall semester, and says classes would continue to be held remotely through the fall semester.
"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 in an online statement.
The school will "offer remote learning courses this summer" and it plans to "continue providing the minimal housing and dining services that are currently available."

An increasing number of schools are doing exactly that
Harvard, which was one of the first universities to send students home earlier this spring in a bid to "de-densify" its campus, is considering "lots of different scenarios" for the fall semester, President Lawrence S. Bacow said in an interview last week.
One of the issues, he said, is that at some point decisions will have to be made and there will still be "a tremendous amount of uncertainty" with regard to the virus.

It's good to plan well ahead
Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and visiting scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told CNN that the colleges are doing the right thing by planning for the unexpected.
"I think colleges should all definitely make plans for delaying start dates and for intermittent closings and reopenings, because epidemiology modeling suggests we may have to go into open and close waves until potentially even 2022," he said.
Researchers from the Chan school said Tuesday that the US may have to endure social distancing measures, such as stay-at-home orders and school closures, until 2022.
That is, unless, a vaccine becomes quickly available.

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Written by Brian Ries and Meg Wagner,
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