The University of Georgia announced that it is working on a plan to return to in-person classes for the Fall 2020 semester. University president Jere Morehead made the announcement on Wednesday, April 29.
According to the current plan, the university will welcome faculty and staff back on campus in phases.
“I’ve established nine working groups to begin evaluating a smooth transition to full operations here at Georgia,” Morehead said. “These working groups will address workplace and health safety instruction, research, public service and outreach, student life, enrollment management, athletics communications, and fiscal impact. The groups are being led by senior administrators and involved nearly 140 members of our faculty and staff.
“Our top priority in a phased gradual reopening over the summer is the safety of our faculty, staff, and students. We must ensure that our plans, promote a healthy and safe environment, comply with executive orders, and directives from the governor’s office and reflect guidance from the Georgia Department of Public Health. We are anticipating a resumption of in-person instruction for the fall semester, beginning in August 2020 for all USG institutions. However, I would emphasize that this situation remains a fluid one. And as the USG monitors developments related to COVID-19 and receives counsel from state public health officials, guidance could be subject to change. even after our plans are put in place. We will need to remain flexible and patient as we move forward.”
Universities have been working to reopen with a number of schools taking financial hits without revenue from college sports. By reopening the campus, it opens the door for fall sports to return on schedule.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 56,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.