AUSTIN (KXAN) — In a letter to the University of Texas at Austin community, Interim President Jay Hartzell announced some updates about the school’s summer and fall plans in relation to the coronavirus pandemic.
Remote learning, class schedules and room use
Students will have the option of remote learning if they are not able to return to campus. However, not all courses are available online so students are asked to take that into consideration when assessing their path towards graduation. Hartzell said more details on remote learning will be made available in the coming weeks.
Classrooms holding in-person courses will only be filled to 40% capacity in an effort to maintain appropriate social distancing.
“We will try to make as few changes to the existing fall schedule as possible, but there will be changes, as we will need to move some classes to alternative times in order to reduce density in buildings and on campus,” wrote Hartzell.
“As a result, fall classes will be more spread out than usual and can be scheduled between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.”
UT’s Office of the Registrar is scheduled to begin setting the final schedule for the school’s 400 largest classes, all of which are available online. The rest of the schedule will be created based on faculty availability and student enrollment.
Hartzell said about 11,000 classes will beheld during the fall semester, and about 2,100 of them will be available online. Students who have already registered will informed of any changes to their schedules as soon the university finalized course dates and times.
Residence halls and campus facilities
UT will reopen residence halls based on the recommendations of the health and medical experts in the Health and Wellness Working Group. UT will begin communicating with students who have contracts byu the end of June.
The Housing, Food and Facilities Task Force will begin reopening recreational sports and university unions facilities later in the summer. The San Jacinto Residence Hall is undergoing a deep cleaning so it can be ready for student athletes.
COVID-19 testing and screening
Hartzell said the university is continuing to test individuals who are showing symptoms of the coronavirus. He said UT is also developing a plan to test individuals for COVID-19 on a voluntary basis.
“We plan to build on-campus capabilities to conduct asymptomatic testing consistent with epidemiological recommendations,” said Hartzell.
“We are also reviewing options and policies for screening members of the UT community who enter buildings on campus for symptoms and will provide more information as we finalize our approach.”
Protective face coverings
Hartzell said that during the summer months all UT employees authorized to work on campus and set up the school for the upcoming fall semester must wear face coverings whenever they are working in buildings or offices.
UT will announce face covering policies for students at the start of the fall semester.
According to UT, a Big 12 directive will enable football student-athletes to begin voluntary athletic activities on campus. All activities will have UT’s strength and conditioning staff present, starting on June 15.
The Student-Athlete Return to Campus Task Force will begin finalizing the policies and procedures to safely support these athletes taking part in these activities. The first phase will include a robust screening process involving testing, physicals and questionnaires.
Additionally, mandatory physicals, daily screening and COVID-19 safety education/training conducted by the sports medicine staff must be completed before student-athletes may begin the second phase workout program.