UW System to reopen for fall 2020 school year

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)-- UW System President Ray Cross says he "fully expects" UW universities to reopen for the fall 2020 school year.

In a statement Friday, Cross says at this time the UW System is considering what such a reopening might look like, including the option of testing students and staff for coronavirus, Executive Director of Public and Community Affairs, Jack Jablonski, tells NBC15 News.

“We fully expect to remain open in the fall,” Cross said. “How we deliver education for students depends on a number of factors.”

At the time, no concrete decision has been made regarding testing, Jablonski says.

Cross says officials from across the UW System have already begun planning the reopen, from academic instruction to residence hall and dining service operations to athletics to academic counseling.

The UW System has also launched a new task force called the "Plan Ahead Team" to review the System's options on the reopen. That task force includes university officials as well as medical experts.

According to Cross:

“We are thinking through the many factors that will help us determine how we deliver essential academic instruction this fall and what services, activities, and experiences we can offer... This team will help us know all of our choices in the months ahead so our decision this summer best protects our students and ensures we are delivering a quality education.”

Friday's update comes after the System decided to move all students out of residence halls and transfer all in-person classes online. For the first history time in System history, university commencements also occurred online.

The UW System serves about 170,000 students across its campuses in the state.