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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Local Universities Making Plans For Fall 2021

miami university
Courtesy of Miami University

The University of Cincinnati, Miami and Xavier all say they intend to be on campus this fall.

"I am pleased to announce that it is our current plan to launch the 2021-22 academic year with increased on-campus and in-person activity," writes UC President Neville Pinto in a statement.

"We plan to increase the number of not just on-campus classes but also on-campus experiences that students are able to be a part of in the fall," adds Jack Miner, vice provost for enrollment management.

UC - like the rest of the country - is still working through what will be the "new normal." Miner says that means this fall could still include face coverings and social distancing.

At Miami, officials expect to offer in-person classes and "do not foresee a fully remote option" for the Oxford campus, according to a letter from President Gregory Crawford. Regional campuses are expected to be in-person, too.

"As the rollout of the vaccines continues, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for this pandemic and we believe all faculty and staff will have the opportunity to be vaccinated by the end of July. We are excited about returning to in-person classes and operations by Fall 2021," Crawford writes.

Xavier students have been on-campus this school year with online, hybrid learning and in-person classes. A spokesperson released more details Friday, saying Xavier plans to return to "mostly normal operations."

"Our students have been amazing," writes Jeff Coleman, vice president for risk management and the chair of Xavier's COVID Task Force. "We asked them to be 'Mask-eteers' since the beginning, following all of the necessary protocols so that we could remain in-person. We are very proud of their efforts."

Northern Kentucky University leaders are still discussing fall semester plans, according to a spokesperson.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.