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University of Tennessee prepares to return to campus for fall 2020

University of Tennessee Trustees discussed how campus operations will be different during the upcoming fall 2020 semester with COVID-19 continuing to spread.
UT considers a tuition hike for a fifth consecutive year. (University of Tennessee)
UT considers a tuition hike for a fifth consecutive year. (University of Tennessee)(WVLT)
Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 6:13 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - University of Tennessee Trustees discussed how campus operations will be different during the upcoming fall 2020 semester with COVID-19 continuing to spread.

The board met for discussions regarding plans on campuses across the state on Thursday. The conversations are expected to continue into Friday.

“We are planning for a safe return to campuses in the fall and will do everything possible to protect the health of our students, faculty and staff,” said UT System President Randy Boyd. “We will continually monitor the local and state health data and policies and be prepared to adjust and communicate our plans when needed.”

Changes on the table to help keep students healthy include:

  • An app where students can enter any possible symptoms they may be experiencing. The app would give either a green light on attending class or a red light directing students to visit the health center.
  • Faculty is being asked to get creative with choosing facilities -- larger buildings and boardrooms not usually used for classes.
  • Fall break could be canceled to encourage students to avoid travel, and in-person classes may not resume after Thanksgiving.
  • Masks will be available and handed out all over campus
  • Main areas where students usually congregate will be closed
  • Dining halls will offer food-to-go.

Trustees also discussed the importance of accommodating high-risk students who want to continue their education, but cannot risk exposure to COVID-19. Some classes will be offered entirely online.

Meanwhile, athletic director Phillip Fulmer said he expects football season to continue with a full stadium.

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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