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Florida Atlantic University officials present reopening plan to Boca Raton City Council

Classes scheduled to begin Aug. 22
Florida Atlantic University reschedules canceled graduation following threat
Posted at 12:27 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 17:47:30-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Despite an increase in coronavirus cases in Florida this summer, Florida Atlantic University is still on track to reopen campus to students next month.

The school's reopening plan was approved by state education leaders on June 23, which includes having about 4,000 students live on campus with about 20 percent of classes conducted in person.

Graduate student Isaiah Moriarity said there are still a lot of unknown variables going into the 2020 school year.

He said so far all of his classes are online, but he has little to no information on his teaching assistant job.

"They have not really given any guidance," said Moriarity.

School officials presented aspects of their reopening plan Monday to the Boca Raton City Council. The major focus is safety and community for those who are returning to campus.

FAU's plan says that on-campus instruction this fall will be reserved for courses that "critically need" in-person teaching.

For the thousands of students who are on campus, no guests will be allowed and events will be limited to 10 people. Plus, there will be almost 115 beds available for COVID-19 positive students to quarantine.

Florida Atlantic University officials presented their reopening plan to the Boca Raton City Council during an online meeting held July 27, 2020.
Florida Atlantic University officials presented their reopening plan to the Boca Raton City Council during an online meeting held July 27, 2020.

"When a student or employee reports that they are ill or they present with COVID symptoms they are assumed presumptive positive," said an FAU official on Monday.

Moriarity said he has concerns about reopening the campus.

"It's not like the NBA. You can't put FAU into a bubble," Moriarity said. "How much can the university actually trace, and how much are they willing to."

FAU said they are addressing those concerns by creating a contact tracing system and providing testing on campus to students and employees.

In addition, the university established a quarantine isolation plan if an on-campus student contracts the coronavirus. The school said they will have 112 beds in Boca Raton and 12 in Jupiter if students need to be isolated.

According to the university's online academic calendar, classes are scheduled to begin at FAU on Aug. 22.

However, FAU said they will transition to 100 percent online classes after the Thanksgiving break. They said they feared students leaving for the holiday break could then return and bring coronavirus cases back to campus.

Watch the full Boca Raton City Council meeting in the video player below: