Coronavirus: USask residence housing a fraction of students compared to previous years

File / Global News

It’s almost the start of the school year, which means university students will be moving into residence soon.

It will look much different from past years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March, University of Saskatchewan (USask) classes were moved online and many students moved out of residence before the winter semester ended.

Some, like international students, had to stay because they weren’t able to go home. There have been about 500 students living in residence during the spring and summer.

Heading into the fall, USask consumer services director George Foufas expects there to still be 500 students living in residence — about a 75-per cent drop from previous school years.

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All students will be living in the College Quarter area.

“We’re trying to accommodate people as best we can so they have their own washroom,” Foufas said.

“The four-bedroom units will have two people in them. A lot of the three-bedroom units will have one person in them so it’s kind of all over the map, but they’re not at full capacity by any means.”

Not all students can live in residence this year. Students who will be considered to live in residence include those taking in-person classes, students from rural areas with poor Wi-Fi, and international students.

Students moving from out of province will have to quarantine for 14 days before moving in with a roommate. Foufas adds the university has a contingency plan if a student living in residence contracts the novel coronavirus.

Revenue is expected to be lost with fewer students living in residence and the university is currently looking into the long-term impact it will have.

Click to play video: 'USask student launches COVID-19 tracker to graph coronavirus cases'
USask student launches COVID-19 tracker to graph coronavirus cases

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