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Loyola University Maryland to allow students to choose in-person classes in spring 2021

Loyola University Maryland will offer a hybrid of in-person and online courses to undergraduate and graduate students living on or off campus during the spring semester.

Students will have the option to study remotely from home. Graduate students can take courses online, in-person, or in a hybrid model, officials said in a university news release Thursday.

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All students are being asked to quarantine for 14 days before coming to Loyola and to get tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to campus. Students living off campus must provide proof of a negative test prior to starting classes. Students living on campus must restrict their interactions with others until Jan. 20, officials said in the release. The semester is scheduled to begin Jan. 19.

“It is troubling to see COVID-19 cases rising in Maryland and across the country, and it seems likely we are looking at a challenging winter,” President Brian F. Linnane said in the statement. “We feel confident that the steps we are putting in place — including creating a detailed plan for testing, contact tracing, and case management — will help mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19 and position us well for the Spring 2021 semester.”

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The university joins the Johns Hopkins University in preparing to bring students back to campuses during the spring semester.

Loyola will offer surveillance testing on-site for the campus community. Officials have identified an outside firm to handle contact tracing for members of the Loyola community, according to the plan.

The university is partnering with Sinai Hospital to provide medical guidance, case management and COVID-19 testing for those showing symptoms. University leaders are also working with the Baltimore Health Department and seeking guidance from an infectious disease specialist, according to the statement.

Loyola officials are requiring students to take a number of COVID-19 precautions, including a mandatory online student training prior to spring return. All students will also be expected to enroll in Loyola’s student symptom checker app, Campus Clear.

Loyola’s leadership will also participate in “tabletop exercises to prepare for COVID-19 mitigation on campus” leading up to the spring 2021 semester.

“I’m grateful that we have an excellent plan and that we have time to further refine it and test it before we welcome students to our campuses for in-person instruction in January,” Linnane said in the statement.

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