Home Coronavirus Coverage Key U.S. Senator Upbeat About Campus Reopenings – Inside Higher Ed

Key U.S. Senator Upbeat About Campus Reopenings – Inside Higher Ed

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Lamar Alexander expresses confidence that testing will be sufficient, says college leaders are embracing tactics to help them open safely — and says they deserve liability protection.

Colleges and universities around the country will have sufficient testing capacity and are taking the needed steps to safely reopen their physical campuses this fall, the head of the U.S. Senate’s education committee said in a discussion with reporters Thursday. He also vowed that Senate Republicans would ensure that colleges receive liability protection from potential lawsuits by students or employees who get sick if they return to campus – if Congress passes more legislation regarding COVID-19.

Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican who is retiring this year, said he viewed the opening of schools and college campuses this fall as essential to restoring the American economy and society to a “sense of normalcy.”

“The surest sign that we’re beginning to regain the rhythm of American life will come when 70 million students go back to school and to college this fall,” Alexander said.

The senator said he held a call Thursday morning with leaders from 90 of Tennessee’s 127 postsecondary institutions and that “all of them are planning to resume in-person classes in August” and are “using a variety of techniques to make sure their campus is safe.”

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