In-person classes will move to a “3-foot distancing format” in the fall of 2021, the Office of the Provost announced Friday in an email to faculty. 

The move follows new recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for K-12 schools. The new CDC guidelines state that with universal masking, students should maintain a distance of at least three feet in classroom settings as opposed to the previous recommendation of six feet of distance. 

“Our local health officials interpret that guidance as also applying to university classrooms and support scheduling classes for fall 2021 with 3-foot distancing,” the announcement stated.  

Instructor spaces will still be separated from student spaces by six feet. The email states that if faculty feel that three-feet between students is not adequate for their situation they should contact their academic unit administrator and tell them they have changed their choice of teaching format. 

Faculty should also contact their academic unit administrator if they would like to switch to in-person classes due to “the rapid improvement in the COVID-19 safety outlook in [our] classrooms.” 

Once the schedule is published, faculty scheduled to teach remotely cannot require any in-person meetings. The schedule is set to be published on April 12. 

The university has previously announced a goal to “approach a more normal level of operations in the fall semester with more in-person opportunities for living, learning and working.” 

Fall classes are set to start on Aug. 26.

Gina Butkovich is editor in chief. Contact her at gbutkovi@kent.edu.

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