UTRGV to resume in-person classes in the fall

EDINBURG — In-person classes will resume this fall at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, albeit with social distancing and hygiene measures in place, according to a letter UTRGV sent to the university community.

Writing in the letter, UTRGV President Guy Bailey said that the university will be following guidelines developed by a task force led by Dr. John Krouse, the dean for the School of Medicine.

“This is the first step of a diligent process meant to bring students, faculty and staff back to campus while also ensuring everyone’s health and safety. The task force recommendations provide the framework for doing so,” Bailey wrote in the letter. “The next step is for each unit to develop a plan for its own area based on the guidance in the task force recommendations. In all cases, from services to instruction, our first priority is the health and safety of our campus community and the communities we serve.”

Per the task force’s recommendations, face-to-face instruction will occur using hybrid or reduced “seat-time” formats, with compliance to rules of physical-distancing lecture courses with more than 50 students being delivered online.

“Under no circumstances will classes meet with over 50 students,” the report read.

The guidelines also stipulate that athletics will return in the fall. Domestic student athletes will return to campus beginning July 15 after self-isolating for a week, while international student-athletes will be able to return on July 1 and will self-isolate for two weeks.

“Staff will have frequent wellness checks by athletic training staff,” the guidelines read.

The report also stipulates that an “Event Task Force” will monitor the pandemic and provide updates when available. For now all events on campus will remain canceled through the end of June.

“Policies around size of and requirements for campus events will be reviewed regularly, as changing conditions would direct,” the report read.

The full set of guidelines is available at https://www.utrgv.edu/coronavirus/_files/documents/return-to-campus/return-to-campus-task-force-guidelines.pdf.