Minnesota college, university leaders discuss campus reopening and COVID-19 preparedness

Updated: September 01, 2020 05:03 PM
Created: September 01, 2020 05:48 AM

Tuesday, state and private college leaders from across Minnesota will give an update to Senate lawmakers on their progress reopening campuses and plans to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Health officials have repeatedly said large groups of people are the biggest concern in terms of spreading the virus.

State health officials have said that, at least for now, their biggest worry isn't with the classrooms necessarily, but with off-campus activities, specifically with parties. 

There's also a concern with faculty as well, with weddings and simple gatherings with friends and family. 

State health officials are warning Minnesotans as they are starting to see more people become relaxed with health guidelines. That could spell trouble as thousands of people come together for school in communities across the state. 

U of M announces 4-step plan to return students to campuses

"Winona County is one example of an area that is seeing the overall effects of cases associated with higher education settings," Minnesota Department of Health Director of Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Kris Ehresmann said. "Health officials in the area released some info on Friday about an upswing in cases with many among 18- to 24-year-olds. This aligns with the return of students to several higher education campuses in the county."

To try and help, just last week, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents voted to move the start of class and campus move-in forward two weeks.

Starting at 1 p.m., a Senate committee will hear from many more college and university officials to see how they're preparing. The meeting will be held virtually.

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