Auburn students, faculty and staff can expect a complete return to campus for the fall 2021 semester after the University aimed to offer 70% of classes in person during spring 2021. The University announced in a campus-wide email on Wednesday morning that it is planning a "full in-person, on-campus academic and student life experience" for the fall.
The fall 2021 semester will begin Aug. 16, and the University said classes and course delivery will be carried out largely as they are in normal semesters. Other facets of campus life such as housing, dining, events, transportation and travel will see typical pre-pandemic operations.
"The decision was made in consultation with state and local health officials and with input from shared governance groups representing students, faculty and staff," the University said.
According to the email, students, faculty and staff will be asked to follow some health and safety precautions, but the University did not specify what these will be, stating that it will share more details in the summer. The University said it does not plan at this time on requiring students, faculty and staff to receive COVID-19 vaccinations to return to campus in the fall.
"While the university is not currently mandating vaccination ..., all campus community members are strongly encouraged to receive the vaccine," the University said. "The University will continue to offer COVID-19 testing through the Auburn University Medical Clinic and provide resources and support for individuals who have been affected by the virus."
Current plans for the fall were developed in hopes that most people on campus will have been vaccinated by August and that COVID-19 positivity rates in Alabama will have continued their downward trajectory, the University said. However, it said these plans are subject to change based on public health trends.
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