Like many others, Saint Ambrose University will open its fall semester earlier than normal because of the pandemic and take a long holiday break. On Friday it announced classes will begin on August 17th, one week earlier than usual, and continue until Thanksgiving, then not resume until mid-January.
Spokesman Craig DeVrieze calls this cautiously optimistic, with an emphasis on caution.
"We want to make sure our campus community is safe. We don't want our students exposed to the virus, we don't want our faculty, particularly those that might be at risk, exposed to the virus, and we'll do everything we can to mitigate the risk. "
In May, a task force began studying how the university in Davenport could re-open, and when. And because more testing has become available, and parents and students both want classes to resume, it settled on an early start to the new academic year.
"We've had consultations with an architectural firm and with one of our furniture vendors - they've been on campus to look at classrooms and make recommendations as to how we can accomplish social distancing with students in the classroom."
Masks will also be required when the new semester begins.
DeVrieze says possible changes for student housing on campus are still in the works.