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IU Provost sends email outlining new rules for fall 2020 semester



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IU and Vice Provost Lauren Robel released more information in emails Friday about what fall semester will look like for students, staff and faculty on the IU Bloomington campus.

Students will be required to follow the rules including observing social distancing in classrooms, registering with the IU testing site, quarantining if a student has a fever or feels sick, getting evaluated for testing through IU’s testing site, avoiding large gatherings and cooperating with IU’s instructions if a student tests positive for COVID-19.

Passing period times will be lengthened, new cleaning protocols will be put in place, grab-and-go dining will be offered and most in-person class sizes will be limited to 50 or fewer people. 

The email also states that students will have the option to take classes online and work toward their degrees remotely. In addition to in-person classes being limited to 50 or fewer students to help with social distancing, there are different possibilities for class structures including groups of students attending class on different days or online lectures followed by smaller in-person discussions or lab groups.

Additional, optional winter-session classes will be offered during breaks, and these costs will be included in tuition rates.

“You will want to think carefully about what it means to come back to campus, and decide if this is what you want,” Robel said in the email. “If you do, and if you come, we will do everything we can to keep going, and you will be all in with doing that as well.”

There will be on-campus access to COVID-19 testing and monitoring for any students displaying symptoms.

Reasoning was also given for IU's decision to have all classes online between Thanksgiving and the beginning of February. The email says there is a concern of a second wave of outbreaks around when flu season peaks, which is typically between December and February, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This email comes shortly after a release from the university about new rules about wearing masks on campus. 

All people will also be required to wear cloth masks in public spaces, common areas and IU buildings, according to the email. This includes in-office and outdoor spaces where physical distancing is hard to maintain.

This rule will go into effect starting June 1. Masks will not be required if you are in a private office or in a space alone. 

IU will provide two cloth face masks to all faculty, staff and students before the fall semester. The release states that this new rule is to slow the spread of COVID-19 and is in alignment with the CDC’s recommendations.

Along with the face mask rule, the university is requesting people taking other precautions such as practicing physical distancing and regularly sanitizing workspaces and shared equipment.

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