Harvard University officials have acknowledged that the school is preparing for the possibility that it must continue with remote learning through the fall, a stark indicator that it may not be safe for students to return to campus by September.
Harvard said Monday it even briefly considered delaying the start of the academic year until spring 2021, but ultimately rejected the idea. Harvard provost Alan Garber confirmed that classes will begin on Sept. 2, but it is currently unclear whether those classes will be in-person or online.
Garber said that because “most projections suggest that COVID-19 will remain a serious threat during the coming months,” Harvard “we will need to prepare for a scenario in which much or all learning will be conducted remotely.”
The university said it would bring students back to its Cambridge, Mass. campus if it has adequate supplies of personal protective equipment, reliable and convenient viral testing, robust contact tracing procedures, and facilities for quarantine and isolation.
Prospective students, current students, and parents are pressuring universities to provide an idea of what the situation will be next fall, adding to the strain felt by university administrators.
source: Boston Globe