Father Jenkins explains why Notre Dame is planning welcome students back in the fall

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (WNDU) Notre Dame is making national headlines after announcing a plan to have students back on campus this fall.

On Tuesday, officials with Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) announced a new statewide plan that is designed for students who wish to pursue specific majors. (MGN)

They released an ambitious plan Monday to open campus two weeks earlier than expected.

In an effort to limit the potential spread of COVID-19, students will go straight through with no breaks and the semester will end before thanksgiving.

The university's president, Father John Jenkins, sent a letter to students.

'"Bringing our students back is in effect assembling a small city of people from many parts of the nation and the world, who may bring with them pathogens to which they have been exposed,” Father Jenkins said. “We recognize the challenge, but we believe it is one we can meet."

Father Jenkins said he knows students want to be back on campus so they're taking every precaution to make that possible.

“I expect extensive testing, I think that's critical to make the campus safe,” Father Jenkins added. “Social distancing will be part of it, quarantining if someone tests positive, all of that will be part of it. I believe with all those components, we can have a safe campus where students learn and grow.”

Notre dame is part of the 70 percent of US colleges planning to resume in-person classes this fall.