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Six mid-August details you need to know for fall

Posted by:
August 21, 2020

TO: All students and families
FROM: Office of the President

1. Campus Status Dial

Pacific Lutheran University will begin the 2020-21 school year with a staged approach to reopening. We’ve created a visual representation—a dial—to ensure that our community members can quickly and easily see which stage we’re currently in, from fully remote learning and working to full capacity with in-person operations. As public-health conditions continue to evolve over the next several months, the PLU dial will be a regular part of our guidance for learning, living, and working on campus.

The dial reflects the consideration of data gleaned from campus, county, and state health reporting that, in combination with directives from public-health officials, will inform our decision-making related to campus operations. The dial and these reporting metrics are being reviewed by the Tacoma–Pierce County Health Department. After this important consultation is complete, we’ll share the dial with the campus community.

2. Pre-arrival Wellness Check-In

All students should complete the daily Pre-Arrival Wellness Check-In, beginning at least 14 days before arriving on campus. All students are strongly encouraged to follow public-health guidance, limit their activities, and stay close to home for the 14 days prior to joining campus life.

During the academic year, all Lutes will be expected to attest to their health via the Wellness Check-In every day that they visit campus or participate in a PLU-related activity. One exception: students who have opted for 100% remote learning through the fall semester and will not be coming to campus for any reason are excused from completing the Wellness Check-In.

3. Upon arrival: Quarantine, test, quarantine (QTQ)

Testing PLU community members at different points throughout the fall is an important component of our planned mitigation measures. Click on the link below for a list of student groups that have been identified for initial testing. Do you need to quarantine or be tested before arriving on campus? Find out now! If you are a residential student, your test date will correspond with your move-in date and related quarantine period. Test dates and locations for the fall semester will be published and updated on the COVID-19 website.

Thank you to the students who have properly quarantined and diligently followed public-health guidelines so far. We appreciate your leadership and your demonstrated care for our community.

4. Course schedule changes

Start and end times for classes have been adjusted slightly to accommodate a 30-minute break between classes instead of our usual ten minutes. This increase is intended  to provide remote learners with opportunities to take a break from their screens, and in-person learners with ample time to disinfect their individual workspaces and shared equipment. The interactive schedule has been updated to reflect these adjustments. Be sure to check the schedule and update your personal calendar accordingly!

If you haven’t already asked for accommodations to learn remotely, it’s not too late! Send an email with your request to our Office of Accessibility and Accommodations at OAA@plu.edu.

5. Return-to-campus guides

Both the Return to Learning on Campus guide and the Return to Work guide have been updated with recent changes in federal, state, and local guidelines and responses to questions we have received regarding life on campus. Significant changes to the guides include:

  • Acceptable and unacceptable types of face masks, distinguished based on recent research
  • A recommendation to get your flu shot
  • Expansion of the Visitors on Campus section, including categories of visitors allowed on campus and links to required forms

6. PLU Athletics and NWC update on fall sports

This week, the Northwest Conference (NWC) Presidents’ Council made the difficult decision to suspend all conference competition and championships until January 1st, 2021. We applaud the leaders of the NWC for putting the health and well-being of our student-athletes first, and thank our student-athletes and coaches for their understanding and resilience. Fall practices and other athletics-related activities for all sports are permitted in accordance with NCAA Division III rules, as well as with institutional and state and local health directives. We’ll be ready to cheer you on in the spring. Go Lutes!