The nightmare that colleges face this fall

If campuses reopen in the fall, return dates could be staggered. The University of Kentucky is considering having freshmen and sophomores come to campus while juniors and seniors take their classes online. The goal, university officials explained, would be to make sure that the students who need the in-person experience the most would get it, such as first- and second-year students who might have experiential lab requirements or other such course prerequisites. In this scenario, administrators would make exceptions for upperclassmen who also had classes that could not be completed online.

There’s also the question of how to quickly and adequately clean any shared space. On May 13, Alger and JMU officials sent a letter to Virginia’s education secretary requesting permission to hire additional facilities-maintenance staff to ramp up cleaning efforts. (The state has implemented a hiring freeze on certain employees.) The workers would wipe down door knobs and desks and spray rooms with a disinfectant spray known as a germ fog between each class period. Staff would also be required to deep-clean residence halls, and schools might even turn to local hotels to introduce more social distance into the campus housing apparatus. This spring, JMU relocated some international students who were not able to go home to on-campus apartment-style housing so that students could have their own bathrooms.