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Local News

University of St. Francis in Joliet announces modifications for fall semester reopening

The University of St. Francis on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, in Joliet, Ill.
The University of St. Francis on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, in Joliet, Ill.

The University of St. Francis in Joliet announced more specifics this week on how it plans to reopen its campus this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

USF said it plans to reopen campus buildings Aug. 3 with restrictions on the size of classes, team meetings and other gatherings to keep the number in large spaces to fewer than 50 people, according to the university's website.

The 50-person limit is in compliance with Phase 4 of Gov. JB Pritzker's Restore Illinois plan, which the state is expected to reach on Friday.

USF said its staff has "gone from building to building and room to room" to count socially distant seats and to plan for where access and exit points will be. The school is modifying its classrooms and labs to allow for students to work a safe distance from one another.

The university also said it would adjust its fall semester schedule to allow for more time between before the start of the spring 2021 semester.

For instance, USF's fall break will be moved and shortened to Oct. 6 and Oct 7. It was originally planned for the week of Oct 19 through Oct. 23.

This means fall 2020 classes will end a week earlier than originally planned on Dec. 11.

Also, all in-person classes will move to a fully online format "as necessary" after Thanksgiving break, which begins on Nov. 26. The change would apply to the final two weeks of the semester.

This will allow for winter commencement to be moved to Saturday, Dec. 12.

USF said it will share more detailed plans in the coming weeks.

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