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Ashland — Southern Oregon University will pivot to a fall academic schedule in which most classes will be delivered remotely. The shift is due to the continued spread of COVID-19 in southern Oregon and statewide.

“I shared some months ago that our reopening strategy would be flexible and allow for these kinds of adjustments,” SOU President Linda Schott said in a message to students. “I remain committed to delivering a customized and flexible ‘hybrid’ learning experience this fall, balancing academic excellence with our community’s health and safety.”

The university updated its safety and health protocols, including strict capacity standards for indoor spaces and a requirement for face coverings both inside and outside where adequate social distancing is not possible. SOU is working with Oregon’s other public universities, community partners and Jackson County Public Health to plan for and respond to positive COVID-19 cases when they occur.

“I want our students to continue their studies in safety,” President Schott said. “I want SOU employees to continue serving our students without putting their health in jeopardy. And I want our neighbors and community members to recognize that we are moving ahead with appropriate caution.”