PLU will phase-in a return of students, faculty, and staff over time in a coordinated process to ensure appropriate physical distancing, the continued availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfection supplies, and proper testing capabilities for COVID-19, all in accordance with the State of Washington’s Reopening Guidelines for Higher Education, the Campus Reopening Guide, and their related directives.
The need to reduce the number of people (population density) on campus to meet physical-distancing requirements is an essential part of our planning. We are achieving this through reduced population in the residence halls, a shift to larger teaching spaces, and a reduction in our in-person course offerings.
For Fall 2020, we will begin the term with a one-week period of remote learning, then phase in in-person learning as public health conditions permit and as it aligns with faculty teaching plans. The first courses to introduce in-person elements will be select labs, clinicals and performance-based courses, as well as some community-building courses for first-year students.
As PLU operations expand and students begin to return to campus, university officials will closely monitor and assess the potential spread of the virus, as well as existing policies and procedures to mitigate it. COVID-19 testing of students exhibiting symptoms associated with coronavirus, or of those who have been in close contact with an infected individual, will be available at the Health Center. We also have the capacity for surveillance testing and contact tracing with the assistance of the Tacoma/Pierce County Emergency Services and County Health Department. If localized outbreaks emerge, tighter restrictions and alternative learning and living modalities may need to be implemented.