In a limited capacity, Gettysburg College students will return for in-person education for the spring semester beginning Feb. 1, according to a press release.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors will be invited back to campus to live in single bedrooms in residence halls, at the Gettysburg Hotel, and potentially at other leased hotels, Gettysburg College President Bob Iuliano wrote in a letter addressed to students. First-year students with extenuating personal circumstances and a desire to remain on campus can petition for residence, according to the release.

“On-campus students should anticipate that there will be a mix of in-person and online instruction,” Iuliano wrote. “There may be other adjustments to the structure of academics in the spring semester and we will keep you informed about those changes.”

Returning students will be tested twice a week by a third-party vendor that will take care of the entire testing process, from registration to notification of positive cases to the campus health center. This includes off-campus and commuting students, Iuliano wrote.

Similar to the fall, students should expect to be quarantined for five to six days upon returning to campus while waiting for two negative test results, he wrote.

Quarantine and isolation spaces will be primarily on campus, which will allow for greater care for students and simpler meal delivery. Students who live within 300 miles of Gettysburg will be “expected” to go home fur quarantine, Iuliano wrote. An increase in positive cases on campus will result in residential remote study until the virus is contained, he wrote.

Masking and physical distancing is always required on campus. Large gatherings are not permitted. Travel off campus is severely limited and no authorized visitors are allowed on campus, Iuliano wrote.

Employees in frequent contact with students will be tested on a weekly basis. Those named as a close contact to a positive case on campus can also be tested, Iuliano wrote.

The college has relied on public health experts and advisory groups to come to their decision, Iuliano wrote. There will be regular updates on how the state of the pandemic will affect upcoming spring plans.

“We offer our spring plans with the full knowledge that the COVID-19 virus persists and our plans may need to be adjusted as we approach the start of the spring semester,” the release states.

The last day of classes is scheduled for May 7, before a week of final exams. Commencement for the class of 2020 will be held May 15-16. The class of 2021 will have their commencement on May 22-23, Iuliano wrote, two weeks later than initially planned.

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