The University of Notre Dame announced Friday it will resume in-person classes next week following a temporary shutdown caused by large coronavirus outbreaks on campus, remaining optimistic that it doesn’t face the same fate as other colleges permanently closing their gates this fall.
Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins informed the school community of the decision in a Friday message, saying the number of new cases per day had decreased “substantially.”
The test positivity rate has also dropped, with 6.3% of tests coming back positive from August through Tuesday, down from the overall positivity rate of 10.8%.
“With these encouraging numbers, we believe we can plan to return to in-person classes,” said Jenkins, putting forward plans for a September 2 return in “stages” to reach the level of activity pre-pause.
Notre Dame announced the temporary suspension of in-person classes on August 18 after 147 students tested positive for the virus in two weeks back on campus, with 102 new infections in one day.
Since pivoting to fully online learning, the number of new daily cases has steadily decreased, with less than 20 new cases on the last two days reported (August 25 and August 26).
Nonetheless, over 252 tested positive for the virus since the temporary shutdown started and while most students stayed on campus, according to the Washington Post, about 100 went home.