Officials ‘prepared at any time’ to resume virtual instruction, they say

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Officials said they are preparing for the possibility of resuming online classes this fall.

The University will be “prepared at any time” to resume virtual instruction this fall if necessary, officials said Tuesday.

Scott Burnotes, the associate vice president of safety and security, said officials are “carefully” monitoring GW’s ability to quarantine and isolate students, provide contact tracing and offer student and employee health surveillance. Provost Brian Blake said faculty will be given the choice to opt out of in-person instruction this fall, and officials plan to record all classes so students can choose between attending classes in person, in a hybrid format or online.

“The University will, of course, be prepared at any time to comply with any and all D.C. requirements that may shift as the pandemic evolves,” Burnotes said in an email.

He said officials established a “phased operations approach” for the University based on guidance from D.C. officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that includes “internal triggers” and may move to increase online instruction and telework in case the virus resurges.

“The impact of COVID-19 on campus operations is not static,” Burnotes said. “There may be times where additional protective measures are required to keep everyone safe.”

Administrators are prepared to spend $25 million to curb the spread of COVID-19 this fall as part of a back-to-campus plan pending approval from D.C. officials.

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