WMU planning in-person fall classes

The university expects a return to near normal by August, citing vaccination rates and COVID decline.

Three quarters of classes will be held in person at Western Michigan University next fall. That’s a promise made by university president Edward Montgomery in a message to staff and students posted on the school’s website.

A return to near-normal is set to begin earlier than that, with July 6 being targeted for university departments and services to return to full, in-person operations.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

Montgomery cited rising vaccination rates as the source of school leaders’ optimism. He also said they’ve learned a lot from running classes during the pandemic last fall and this winter.

“Based on applying the lessons learned over the past year of the COVID-19 health crisis … we are confident we can responsibly come together in classrooms and offices in compliance with state guidelines this fall,” he wrote.

WMU has been experiencing an ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 since September of last year, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. However, the school reported just 149 new cases of the coronavirus in the first nine weeks of the winter semester. That’s far less than the 703 cases discovered in the same time period during the fall.

You can read the full letter here.

Independent journalism is essential to a healthy democracy. Make a donation today.