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PLU Returning to In-Person Learning This Fall

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David Simpson’s Social Work class that meets periodically in Xavier Hall during the COVID-19 pandemic, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, at PLU. (PLU Photo/John Froschauer)
February 26, 2021

To: All PLU Community
From: President’s Office

Dear PLU Community,

The pandemic has been an incredibly trying time for all of us. It has required constant personal vigilance as we’ve each made unprecedented adjustments to our ways of working, studying, and being around one another. Here at PLU, it has called on us to act on our commitment to care for one another and our community in new ways, both large and small—including a suspension of the in-person classes and campus life that provide such a vital part of our college experience. Thank you to every member of our campus community for your continued resilience and care for one another.

In addition to the recent announcement of our move to Stage 4 on the Campus Status Dial, I’m excited to share that we are currently planning for a full return to in-person learning and campus life for Fall 2021.

Like every action we’ve undertaken as a community during the pandemic, this decision is being made in full consideration of public-health guidelines and community safety measures. We’ll be proceeding with caution, and reserving the ability to change course as the situation requires. We’re continuing to consult with the Tacoma–Pierce County Health Department and other public-health resources, and following their guidance to ensure that our return to campus continues to prioritize safety above all.

The university pandemic Recovery Planning Team has taken great care to put risk-mitigation strategies in place at PLU that will continue to serve us in the months ahead. COVID-19 case numbers, though still relatively high, are declining in the Puget Sound area. K-12 schools have begun to reopen statewide. And most recently, we’ve been encouraged by the release and deployment of multiple effective vaccines.

Further details about fall plans will be given in future announcements. For now, a few important points to keep in mind:

  • The Campus Status Dial is updated weekly. Check the dial to quickly and easily see which stage we’re currently in, from remote learning and working to full capacity with in-person operations.
  • The Rapid Testing Clinic for Students is open! To continue to keep our community safe and healthy, we’re asking all students who have any reason to be on campus to remain vigilant about COVID-19 protocols, including fully participating in the testing calendar associated with your particular role (e.g., residential student, student-athlete, student employee, students in an in-person or blended class). Students will continue to receive testing information from Residential Life, their coaches, their clinical instructors, their supervisors, and/or the PLU Testing Team.
  • Keep your Shields Up!

I’d also like to take a moment to give a special thanks to those who have worked so hard in person to keep our campus thriving during this time, and to make our safe return possible. Our deepest thanks. This announcement, so important to so many of us, would not be possible without your dedication.

We’ve all made such important sacrifices to promote safety in our community. The scope of that effort has been truly inspiring. That being said, we all know our university is at its best in person—and we’re glad to be making steps toward enjoying that again together.

In community,

Allan Belton
PLU President