Public and private universities, colleges, technical schools, apprenticeship programs and similar schools and programs may resume general instruction, including in-person classes and lectures, starting Aug. 1. Pictured: The University of Washington-Bothell campus. File photo

Public and private universities, colleges, technical schools, apprenticeship programs and similar schools and programs may resume general instruction, including in-person classes and lectures, starting Aug. 1. Pictured: The University of Washington-Bothell campus. File photo

Universities and colleges may reopen in fall, governor says

His order requires masks and physical distancing, among other measures, to help prevent infections.

Gov. Jay Inslee on June 24 cleared the way for Washington’s universities and colleges to welcome students back to campuses this fall.

Public and private universities, colleges, technical schools, apprenticeship programs and similar schools and programs may resume general instruction, including in-person classes and lectures, starting Aug. 1 under a proclamation signed by the governor.

It won’t be a “usual situation” he said at a televised news conference. And the spread of the virus could swiftly change things on any campus.

To get students back in classrooms, universities and colleges must commit to implementing and enforcing health requirements aimed at preventing coronavirus infections.

That will mean having students wear masks in classrooms, dining halls and dormitories. To maintain physical distance, classes may be less crowded and common areas may get remodeled with furniture removed to reduce places for people to gather in numbers.

Sanitizing doorknobs, elevators and vending machines, as well as bathrooms, classrooms and high traffic areas, will need to be increased.

In areas where food is served, diners must wear cloth face coverings except while eating. And when it comes to paying, cash is not acceptable. It should be done with a card or another means that doesn’t require physical contact, Inslee said.

Each institution will have to draw up a reopening plan that incorporates detailed guidance developed by a work group of leaders from two- and four-year colleges.

One key component will be regular health screenings. Colleges will need to sort out how to make sure students and staff are asked if they have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms since their last visit to any place on campus. And, to the extent possible, keeping a log of everyone — students, staff, administrators and visitors — who comes to a campus, information that would be used for tracing contacts of an infected person.

While everyone is eager for college life to restart, Inslee stressed it must be done “in a manner that is safe.”

Colleges shuttered campuses and started conducting classes online in early March as the COVID-19 outbreak spread. As businesses reopen and a degree of normalcy returns, colleges are diagramming plans to offer a combination of in-person and remote classes for the fall quarter.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Six injured in Kent shooting on West Hill

Five transported to Harborview Medical Center; two in critical condition

Federal Way teacher pleads not guilty to child rape charges

A Tacoma man pleaded not guilty to three charges of second-degree child… Continue reading

Kent School District task force targets hybrid learning model in fall

Students won’t return full-time to buildings; final plan still to be determined

Two men shot, injured in parking lot near Kent hookah bar | Update

Kent, SeaTac men hit by gunshots; police looking for suspect information

A train route that would shuttle people between Eastern and Western Washington could tie in with the proposed ultra-high-speed rail between B.C. and Portland. Photo courtesy RobertStafford/Pixabay.com
State receives King County to Spokane rail study

It would take about eight and a half hours to reach the Inland Empire from Puget Sound.

The Red Lion Inn at 1 South Grady Way in Renton is being used as temporary site to relocate individuals experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo.
Renton finds code violation, issues Aug. 9 removal of Red Lion Hotel temporary shelter

County officials believe emergency health order will supersede city’s move.

Courtesy of Mountain View Fire and Rescue
Mountain View Fire and Rescue seeks levy on Aug. 4 primary ballot

Service area includes unincorporated King County near the cities of Auburn, Enumclaw and Kent.

Bret Chiafalo. File photo
Supreme Court says state can punish WA faithless electors

Justices: Presidential electors, including Everett man, must keep pledge to back popular vote winner

Gov. Jay Inslee issued new guidance allowing the resumption of self-service buffets, salad bars, salsa bars, drink stations and other types of communal food sources in Phase 2. File photo
Buffets and salad bars back on the menu in King County

Gov. Jay Inslee has revised rules to allow self-serve food areas in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening.

Most Read