Gonzaga outlines plan for navigating pandemic when classes resume this fall

SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga University is on track to resuming in-person classes in the fall, though things will look much different when summer ends and students return to campus. 

In a letter addressed to students and family, President Thayne McCulloh laid out a tentative plan for navigating the COVID-19 pandemic once campus operations resume. 

“We believe that together, we can set the stage for a thoughtful and carefully managed educational experience,” the letter reads in part, “but it is clear that we will all have to make modifications and each individual will have to be an active participant in the effort of mitigating risk and protecting one another.” 

When students do return to campus housing, it will be in a phased approach over a three-day  period, according to the plan. 

Students will also have access to organized information sessions to provide them with strategies for managing and mitigating risk of contracting the virus.  

Several on-campus facilities are being reserved to serve as housing in case students on campus contract the virus and need to isolate. 

“We are committed to supporting our students in the event of illness and to this end, Gonzaga will engage in multiple disease mitigation strategies to protect the health of our students and campus community in collaboration with the Spokane Regional Health District,” said McCulloh. 

Class sizes will be lowered and students will have the option to take virtual classes. The university is also looking into a hybrid approach for some classes, meaning students would come to campus on some days and learn virtually on others. 

The plan also states all classes following Thanksgiving Break will be taught online, to avoid spreading the virus while students are focusing on final exams and projects. 

All students who travel outside of Spokane County for the break will be asked to not return to campus for the remainder of the semester. Those students will have the option to request a credit of the unused portion of their room and board plan, which could be used toward Spring semester. 

The university’s plan was developed on behalf of its Pandemic Response Task Force, which has coordinated with the Spokane Regional Health District. You can CLICK HERE to learn more. 

READ: Gonzaga announces intent to reopen campus for fall 2020

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