UGA, University System, Plans For Fall Semester: Coronavirus

Jim Massara

ATHENS, GA — The University of Georgia and other schools in the state’s university system still anticipate resuming in-person instruction this fall, according to a message to students, faculty and staff from UGA’s president.

However, “this situation remains a fluid one,” added UGA President Jere Morehead in the email sent Tuesday.

UGA closed its campuses in March and has been using virtual instruction ever since to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Technically, though, “our schools were never closed,” said Aaron Diamant, vice chancellor for communications for the University System of Georgia.

When and how USG schools will reopen depends on “guidance from the governor’s office and public health officials,” Diamant said Wednesday.

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The 26 schools in the University System of Georgia are considering a “staggered, phased-in approach that is appropriate for the unique needs of each campus in the coming weeks," Morehead wrote. The system has about 330,000 students, with nearly 40,000 of them at UGA. There are 30 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UGA community, according to UGA's student newspaper The Red & Black.

Morehead wrote that he and four other university system presidents currently are planning how best to reopen their schools. Under those five presidents are nine working groups composed of nearly 140 faculty and staff, addressing everything from health safety and instruction to athletics and communications.

Atlanta radio station 95.5 WSB reports that Georgia College President Steve Dorman told students, faculty and staff on Wednesday that the Milledgeville school is still working on a plan to reopen but has yet to set a specific timeline. No plans have yet been reported for other schools in the university system.

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This article originally appeared on the Across Georgia Patch