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caption: People walk amongst the cherry trees on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.
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People walk amongst the cherry trees on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

UW plans to welcome some students back to campus in the fall

The University of Washington plans to hold some in-person classes this fall, with new details released Monday about the reopening plan.

A letter sent by university president Anna Mari Cauce on Monday pointed to a hybrid approach to resuming classes starting September 30. Some courses will remain online and some will be available in person.

The letter states the University of Washington will prioritize: “hands-on courses, such as studio, clinical and lab courses, and courses for first-year undergraduate and graduate students.”

To maintain safe physical distancing, small classes will meet in big rooms, and large classes — including courses with 50 students or more — will be taught remotely.

Students who choose not to return to campus for health or other reasons can continue their courses through remote instruction, the letter states.

Students, staff, and visitors will be required to wear masks indoors when near other people, and outdoors if physical distancing isn’t possible.

People who get sick must stay home and self-isolate.

“For students who live on campus, we will have residence hall rooms set aside for those who test positive for COVID-19 and need a place to isolate while recovering,” the Cauce's letter said.

The letter makes it clear that plans could change depending on the trajectory of the Covid-19 outbreak. Cases have been on the rise in the Seattle area and statewide.

University of Washington officials say the institution will follow public health guidelines, as well as guidelines set out last week by the governor’s office as it reopens.

The plans for resuming in-person classes this fall are based on the assumption that King County will be in Phase 3 of the state’s four-phase reopening plan by then. The county is currently in Phase 2.