The University of Oregon officially announced Wednesday that classes will be held mostly online in the fall.
UO President Michael Schill said that in some circumstances, like labs, studios or small classes, the school will allow in-person instruction.
The university sent out an email to students and employees and announced the decision on social media Wednesday morning. Schill cited the possibility of having to shift to online-only in the middle of term as a reason for choosing remote learning.
“Much has changed in the months since the UO announced our intention to try to offer an in-person curriculum this fall,” Schill said. “We have learned valuable lessons from other states, communities and institutions of higher education about what works and, more importantly, what does not work as it relates to managing the spread of coronavirus.”
The decision comes as several other universities across the country reported a spike in COVID cases after reopening.
On Tuesday, University of Alabama reported over 500 COVID cases less than a week after classes started. The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill moved all classes online on Aug. 18 after reporting a 31.3 percent positivity rate of COVID tests.
University of Oregon said first-year students still have an option to live in campus dorms this fall. Any student living on-campus is required to be tested for COVID at the time of moving in, tested again five to seven days later and periodically throughout the term, according to UO’s website.
The university will work with Lane County Public Health to perform contact tracing for positive cases. UO’s website said the university has set aside isolation spaces for any students who need them.
Classes are set to begin Sept. 29.
Schill said the university has a goal to return to mostly in-person classes for the beginning of winter quarter in 2021.