MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In-person classes at the University of Minnesota resumed this week, but a number of safety protocols are still being considered as the school adjusts to a learning model that takes COVID-19 into consideration.

One of those is to potentially move back spring break from the week of March 8 to the week of April 5 or April 12.

“It’s weird and it is also kind of normal now,” said student Lydia Anthony.

 A return to campus doesn’t necessarily mean a return to normalcy for university students and staff.

 “I would never have guessed when I came to campus four years ago this is what it would be like,” said student Nick Aarsvold.

By pushing break back there would only be a few weeks left in the semester after an April spring break. And students could finish out the semester with remote learning.

“I think it’s a good idea not to release students to Florida or wherever and then have them coming back bringing in germs from elsewhere,” said staff member Tom Steffes.

“At first glance it makes a lot of sense for people to not go out, get it, and bring it back and spread it,” said Aarsvold.

It’s similar to what they’ll do for fall semester, with in-person classes ending at Thanksgiving and, as of now, resuming in January. Through Sept. 24, there have been 190 COVID-19 positive cases at the Twin Cities campus. As they look at ways to manage those numbers, students will need to be flexible, and that may mean holding off on any spring break plans.

“Usually that’s when I would take a vacation but I didn’t expect to take a vacation this year anyway,” said Steffes.

The university’s Board of Regents is expected to discuss moving spring break on Oct. 8. And it’s possible they could take action that day.

John Lauritsen

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