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University of Minnesota move-in plan for fall includes quarantines, curfews

The plan for students moving back to campus involves a partial quarantine - and a curfew.

MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Minnesota has announced its move-in plan for the Duluth, Rochester and Twin Cities campuses this fall.

After delaying the move-in date by two weeks, the U of M will allow students to move into residence halls beginning next week, with different dates for different locations. The strategy includes a partial quarantine for several days, and curfews for at least the first five weeks.

Students will begin moving into the Duluth residence halls Sept. 9, Twin Cities Sept. 15, and Rochester Sept. 18.

While most undergraduate classes at those campuses will be offered through distance learning the first two weeks of the semester, the university now has a four-step plan for transitioning to in-person activities.

Step 1: Limited on-campus activities, no off-campus activities. Students who live on campus will learn almost exclusively from within their residence halls for approximately 10 days with a few exceptions, like attending some in-person classes, using dining and health facilities, going to work and being outdoors. Students are not allowed to visit other residence halls, outside businesses or off-campus residences. They can leave for family emergencies. Students are asked to practice social distancing and wear masks when they are not in their rooms.

Step 2: Increased access with curfew. If the first step goes well, students who live on campus will have increased access to all on-campus locations and "the surrounding community." They will have a 9 p.m. curfew where they have to be back in their rooms. This step is expected to last two weeks, as long as the university sees "good compliance and progress."

Step 3: Full access to campus, later curfew. Students who live on campus will have full access to the entire university and off-campus communities, and the curfew is pushed back to midnight. This step is also expected to last two weeks.

Step 4: Continue to follow public health guidance. Students can go anywhere they want on or off-campus, with no curfew. They are asked to wear masks, maintain social distancing and avoid large gatherings.

The university's plan also includes details for off-campus students, and student conduct expectations. University leaders made it clear in Tuesday's announcement that they will be ready to change or extend any of those steps, or revert back to previous steps should they decide the public health situation warrants it.

Students at the U's Crookston and Morris campuses have already moved in and started their classes. The university says it will monitor the COVID-19 situation in both Stevens and Polk Counties, where those campuses are located, to determine whether something needs to change.

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