Weeks after public California colleges and universities announced their official online start in the fall, the state has released formal guidelines from the Department of Public Health concerning reopening.
The guidelines include that most classes be online-only, all dorms are single occupancy, and various sanitary measures for dining halls, bathrooms, and so forth. Regular health screenings are encouraged, while some activities such as athletics and clubs are permitted with certain precautions.
“This guidance is interim. These guidelines and considerations are based on the best available public health data at this time, international best practices currently employed, and the practical realities of managing operations; as new data and practices emerge, the guidance will be updated,” the California Department of Public Health explained. “Additionally, the guidelines and considerations do not reflect the full scope of issues that institutions of higher education will need to address.”
It’s clear that although some students will be able to return to campus in the fall, they will not be having the typical “college experience” by any standards.
Colleges are scrambling for ways to comply, attempting to fit over-packed dorms, dining halls, gyms, and in-person lesson plans into a health-conscious system. Their success remains to be seen as the year rolls on.