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@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.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

Police Chief Ed VanValey gives a speech at his swearing in. Photo by Ava Van, City of Renton.
Renton police chief to take over as interim city CAO

Ed VanValey became police chief in 2018 after serving since 1998. Now he will take one of the highest administrative roles within the city, and the deputy chief will take over the police department.

Opening night of Clam Lights, Dec. 6, 2019 at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park. File photo/Haley Ausbun
No Clam Lights as city plans smaller lighting displays at Coulon, downtown

The city was facing both COVID-19 health concerns and financial restraints, but will still be able to provide some holiday lighting cheer

Long time board member Pam Teal with a child at Meadow Crest Early Learning Center, 2018. Courtesy photo.
Director Pam Teal announces RSD board departure, district looking to fill vacancy

Renton School Board Director Pam Teal has served on the board since 2009

city of renton city hall
Renton proposes six month deadline to remove hundreds staying at Red Lion Inn COVID-19 shelter

As a result of the fight over the county’s de-intensification shelter, which provides housing for homeless people during the COVID-19 pandemic and caused an increase in public safety services in the spring, Renton is introducing code to create stricter guidelines for all homeless shelters

Sage Viniconis is a career performing artist in King County who’s been out of work and seeking creative outlets during the COVID-19 pandemic. Courtesy photo/Sage Viniconis
Puget Sound artists adapt creativity, and business sense, to pandemic

Artists Sunday is an online directory that connects artists across the county, state and nation.

File photo
Snow Lake, located near Snoqualmie Pass in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Washington releases new forest plan

It outlines ways the state will protect and maintain forest health.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. August 2018, when several district unions, including Renton Education Association, bargained for new salaries in response to the McCleary decision.
Renton teachers union files labor complaint against district

The REA claims district is failing to address health and safety guidelines; district says it continues to work with unions to provide safe and healthy environment

Crime web teaser.
Renton man stabs, kills 11-year-old brother

The man chased his brother down the street in broad daylight, attacked him on the sidewalk.

Screenshot
Sex education bill Referendum 90 is passing

It will decide whether Senate Bill 5395 will be enacted into law.

Most Read