Bradley University's "Return to Campus" plan will include a weekly round of COVID-19 surveillance testing among a sampling of students, faculty, and staff.
University President Stephen Standifird sent a letter to the campus community Friday detailing plans for the upcoming fall semester.
Standifird said one of the biggest concerns he's heard about is virus testing and contact tracing protocols. The university's Health Services will conduct surveillance testing each week from Aug. 24 through Nov. 20.
"Each student, faculty and staff member will receive health and safety expectations and guidelines prior to beginning the fall semester and will be expected to follow those guidelines throughout the term. Testing is one of the expectations," said Standifird.
University spokeswoman Renee Charles said in an email Friday about 250 students and 70 staff members will be pulled randomly each week for COVID-19 testing. The plan received the approval of the Peoria City/County Health Department.
Testing will also be available for any students showing COVID-19 symptoms or those potentially exposed to it. The university has designated isolation and quarantine areas if needed.
As previously announced, Standifird noted fall break is canceled for the fall 2020 semester. Instead, students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving and finish out their semesters virtually. Study and final exam dates will remain unchanged.
Undergraduate students will be allowed to request a "gap year" prior to Aug. 25. Returning students can be released from the residence halls, or request a single room. The rest of the rooms will be double occupancy only. Access to communal spaces will be limited.
Masks will be required in classrooms, common areas, shared spaces, and other areas where social distancing is difficult or impossible to maintain.
Standifird also said instructors should prepare for the possibility of hybrid classes.
The president said employees should expect to return to work no later than Aug. 17. The Return to Campus team will also work on gameplans for a potential COVID-19 outbreak on campus.
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