University of Puget Sound plans to conduct in-person instruction in the spring

University of Puget Sound plans to conduct in-person instruction in the spring
(Peter Haley, The News Tribune)

TACOMA, Wash. — The University of Puget Sound in Tacoma announced Monday its “intention to resume in-person course instruction and operations in the spring semester if conditions allow for it.”

In an email sent to students, President Isiaah Crawford said “we anticipate having up to 1,300 students living on campus in the spring, and have reserved 44 rooms for students who may require isolation at any point during the semester.”

UPS previously announced on July 29 that there would be no in-person learning for the fall semester, citing rising case counts of COVID-19 in Pierce County.

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As of Oct. 19, the 14-day case rate per 100,000 people in Pierce County is 110.6 with average cases per day over that same period at 71.3. On July 29, the 14-day case rate per 100,000 people was 143.2 with average cases per day of 92.3.

Health officials are warning of a “third surge” in Pierce County as cases have begun to rise. Dr. Anthony Chen, director of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, said via Twitter on Oct. 8 that “we have not seen such high numbers for two months.”

The email from UPS also said “we will test campus community members a minimum of once per week throughout the spring semester.”

Other planned measures include modifying common spaces, such as rooms and restrooms, and “enhanced cleaning procedures.”

The university also announced it has canceled its study abroad program.