Public and private universities, colleges, technical schools, apprenticeship programs and similar schools and programs may resume general instruction, including in-person classes and lectures, starting Aug. 1. Pictured: The University of Washington-Bothell campus. File photo

Public and private universities, colleges, technical schools, apprenticeship programs and similar schools and programs may resume general instruction, including in-person classes and lectures, starting Aug. 1. Pictured: The University of Washington-Bothell campus. File photo

Universities and colleges may reopen in fall, governor says

His order requires masks and physical distancing, among other measures, to help prevent infections.

Gov. Jay Inslee on June 24 cleared the way for Washington’s universities and colleges to welcome students back to campuses this fall.

Public and private universities, colleges, technical schools, apprenticeship programs and similar schools and programs may resume general instruction, including in-person classes and lectures, starting Aug. 1 under a proclamation signed by the governor.

It won’t be a “usual situation” he said at a televised news conference. And the spread of the virus could swiftly change things on any campus.

To get students back in classrooms, universities and colleges must commit to implementing and enforcing health requirements aimed at preventing coronavirus infections.

That will mean having students wear masks in classrooms, dining halls and dormitories. To maintain physical distance, classes may be less crowded and common areas may get remodeled with furniture removed to reduce places for people to gather in numbers.

Sanitizing doorknobs, elevators and vending machines, as well as bathrooms, classrooms and high traffic areas, will need to be increased.

In areas where food is served, diners must wear cloth face coverings except while eating. And when it comes to paying, cash is not acceptable. It should be done with a card or another means that doesn’t require physical contact, Inslee said.

Each institution will have to draw up a reopening plan that incorporates detailed guidance developed by a work group of leaders from two- and four-year colleges.

One key component will be regular health screenings. Colleges will need to sort out how to make sure students and staff are asked if they have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms since their last visit to any place on campus. And, to the extent possible, keeping a log of everyone — students, staff, administrators and visitors — who comes to a campus, information that would be used for tracing contacts of an infected person.

While everyone is eager for college life to restart, Inslee stressed it must be done “in a manner that is safe.”

Colleges shuttered campuses and started conducting classes online in early March as the COVID-19 outbreak spread. As businesses reopen and a degree of normalcy returns, colleges are diagramming plans to offer a combination of in-person and remote classes for the fall quarter.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

King County 2020 unemployment numbers. Source: Washington State Employment Security Department
Boeing, coronavirus likely to impact King County economy

Unemployment remained high in September.

Blotter bug
Enumclaw, Black Diamond police blotter | Sept. 29 – Oct. 11

Possible teenage car prowler, an assault with a firearm, and someone passed out on the sidewalk.

Sara Stratton is the new executive director of the Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation picks new director

Sara Stratton has years of experience helping other nonprofits with their events, as well as having started her own, before joining RFWF.

The state Department of Health is seeing increases in COVID-19 infections. Screenshot
Concern that climb in cases means ‘fall surge’ is starting | DOH

Experts are saying we must act now to reverse trend.

With members of the City Council looking on, Black Diamond Mayor Carol Benson cuts a ceremonial ribbon, opening a ballot drop box at the library. Photo by Kevin Hanson
County Elections places ballot drop box at Black Diamond library

No longer will Black Diamond residents have to drive out of town to vote.

Eric Robertson
Fact check: Robertson falsely claims Seattle Times retracted editorial accusing him of racist incident

The Legislative District 31 candidate holds the Seattle Times misreported what happened in its editorial endorsing his opponent, providing 1995-era news reports as proof.

Enumclaw's empty Expo Center has seen a large financial loss. Courtesy photo
Enumclaw council hears of tough financial times at Expo Center

Director Rene Popke has estimated the Expo could see a net loss of $700,000 by the end of the year.

Photo by Ron Heusser
Black Diamond history museum to reopen Halloween

Docents and volunteers took the time it was closed to revamp the displays.

Image courtesy Public Health Insider
What do rising COVID-19 numbers mean for schools? | Public Health Insider

The DOH considers 75 cases or more over two weeks per 100,000 to be a marker of relatively high risk for in-person learning.

Most Read