Harvard University announces it will open for fall semester, likely with some modifications

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - Harvard University announced Monday that they intend to reopen for the upcoming fall 2020 semester.

Despite the announcement, university executives said that due to the undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools’ differing approaches to learning and research, many aspects of student life will remain altered.

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“Our goal is to sustain our teaching and research mission during this global pandemic, while also ensuring the health and safety of our community,” Provost Alan  Garber said in a written statement.

Harvard transitioned to a virtual format March 23 as a result of the growing concern surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

“Even if conditions do not allow for a traditional fall experience on campus, we are committed to ensuring that the learning and research of our students will continue at the highest levels of excellence and that we will do our part to enable them to achieve their aspirations,” Garber wrote.

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If the virus persists, university officials said they would likely need to stock up on personal protective equipment and look into reliable as well as convenient viral testing and contact tracing procedures.

A safe place to self-isolate or quarantine would also be necessary.

A final decision has not been made as of yet. University officials are continuing conversations within the different schools to plan for the next steps.

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