CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - Harvard University on Monday announced reopening plans for the fall semester, which include bringing just 40 percent of undergraduates back to the Cambridge campus due to COVID-19 concerns.

All first-year students will be allowed on campus in the fall and seniors will be brought back in the spring, the Ivy League school said in a news release.

Assuming that the school maintains a 40 percent density in the spring semester, Harvard said it would again bring back one class, with a priority on bringing seniors to campus. First-year students would switch to remote learning in the spring.

As part of the plan, enrolled undergraduate students who will be learning from campus will live in single-bedroom units with a shared bathroom and there will be restrictions on inter-house access to dining areas and to non-residential Harvard buildings.

The “medium-density” plan will place limits on what athletic activities are possible at Harvard as well.

Tuition for the 2020-2021 school year will remain the same. Students who are living away from campus and attending classes remotely will not have to pay room and board.

“Without a vaccine or effective clinical treatments for the virus, we know that no choice that reopens the campus is without risk,” Harvard said. “We have worked closely with leading epidemiologists and medical experts to define an approach that we believe will protect the health and safety of our community, while also protecting our academic enterprise and providing students with the conditions they need to be successful academically.”

Harvard said it will abide by the following principles as students return to campus:

  • Our highest priority is to support community health and well-being.
  • We will sustain the excellence of Harvard in both learning and research and will continue to hold ourselves to high standards.
  • We will adopt an evidence-based risk management approach to the COVID-19 challenge, and our decisions will be guided by public officials and health experts.
  • We will transparently communicate our policies and decision-making processes, and any evolution in these, acknowledging that we are facing considerable uncertainty.

For more information on what students can expect on campus and on remote learning, click here.

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