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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Cleveland State President Says Fall Re-Opening Is About "De-Densification"

Cleveland State University (CSU) will offer approximately 1,300 classes to students this fall, with more than 50 percent of them being taught in-person at the Downtown campus.

Classes taught on campus will be limited to 30 students and some will be moved to bigger areas to accommodate social distancing. Remaining classes will be taught online.

CSU President Harlan Sands called it an “aggressive” re-opening plan.

“This is the result of a lot of work, a lot of man hours, so we don’t take this lightly, we take this very, very seriously and we’re cautiously optimistic,” Sands said.

Sands said CSU put together both a pandemic response team and an emergency operations group that’s been meeting since early March to work out how to educate during the pandemic. The groups have been communicating with faculty and staff groups on how to move forward.

“Another thing we’ve also been doing, we've been working with all 14 other state universities in Ohio,” Sands said. “We actually took a leading role in putting together protocols that we all agree upon. And there is there's been a lot of discussions on that front.”

The re-opening plan is laid out in a news release sent out to staff Tuesday. Among the details, staff and students are being told that everyone on the CSU campus will be required to wear masks and undergo daily health checks.  

Sands said one of the key components of the re-opening plan is the “de-densification process of the residence halls and Fenn Tower.” Students will be housed in private rooms in either Euclid Commons or Fenn Tower to try to thwart the spread of COVID-19.

“So we don't have any students that are sharing a bedroom, period,” Sands said. “And then we've got some pretty strict distancing, physical distancing guidelines inside the residence halls. Use of the elevators would be restricted.  And we also made sure we were conscious of the overall footprint, the number of students in the building.”

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