On Friday, Boise State students received official correspondence from the Boise State Reintegration Committee regarding the COVID-19 specific policies and procedures for coming back to campus in the fall. The reintegration plan will allow for students to safely return back to campus while limiting the risk of infection, exposure, and spread of COVID-19.
According to the email received by students on May 22, the university intends to partially return to campus.
There will be face-to-face instruction with some modifications and many classes will be conducted remotely or will be an online-hybrid, meaning the class would be mostly online with specific in-person meeting times when necessary.
For the classes that will remain on campus, social distancing will be prioritized. Many class sizes will be downsized and larger classroom spaces will be utilized so that students may maintain six feet of distance between each other. Additionally, larger campus facilities, like the Student Union Building multipurpose rooms, will be used as classroom spaces.
Fall semester will start on August 24 as originally planned. However, after Thanksgiving break, the remainder of class time will be delivered remotely for all courses. The decision was made in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, as a spike in infection could occur due to a majority of students traveling over the break.
“Students, faculty and staff will be required to wear facial coverings and observe physical distancing and other public health practices on campus for as long as university medical staff and public health professionals advise us to do so,” the Boise State Reintegration Committee wrote.
In accordance with the CDC and EPA, “Enhanced cleaning protocols” will be implemented. The university also intends to establish one-way pedestrian traffic patterns and may potentially develop a contact tracing program.
Residential housing will still be available this fall. Residential students may be subject to COVID-19 testing before move-in, as well as periodically throughout the semester. The university will also be “reserving adequate space to self-quarantine or isolate exposed or infected residential students,” according to the Boise State Reintegration Committee.
More information regarding the specifics of housing facilities will be provided at a later date.
Dining services will still be open for the fall semester, but seating areas will be limited in space in order to accommodate social distancing.
Athletic practices will resume when safe to do so, according to the Boise State Reintegration Committee. Student-athletes will not be able to participate in any university practices or events until they have received a negative COVID-19 test result and will have to undergo regular testing. The athletic department will be initiating strict supervision of enhanced safety, cleanliness, and hygienic measures.
Boise State employees will be able to return to campus after July 7 in reduced numbers to ensure social distancing can be practiced.
“Based on guidance from university medical staff and public health professionals, employees may be required to do one or more of the following: re-entry and/or periodic COVID-19 testing; pre-shift temperature checks; complete COVID-19 screening questionnaires, or other infection mitigation efforts. More information will be provided as it becomes available,” the Boise State Reintegration Committee wrote.
Lab and field-based research will be able to resume with extra safety and health precautions. Remote conferencing and telework are extremely encouraged whenever possible. University-sponsored travel is suspended through the calendar year, but certain exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
The Reintegration Committee disclaimed that any of this information could be subject to change depending on many factors outside of the university’s control.
“I understand the personal toll this is taking on our students, our faculty and our staff. We will continue to do all we can to serve our students and our community through this crisis,” said university President Marlene Tromp in a press statement.