NEWARK, Del. (AP) – The University of Delaware will increase the number of students living on campus from 1,300 to 4,000 for the spring semester, school officials announced Wednesday. The university will start its spring semester on Feb. 15, a week later then scheduled, to “reduce campus activities during the flu season,” news outlets reported.

School President Dennis Assanis said first-year students and seniors will be given the chance to take advantage of the extended capacity first.

The school will also eliminate spring break to minimize out-of-state travel.

The spring semester will also bring the return of some sports. Winter sports begin Nov. 25 and fall sports will begin Jan. 23.

The university has suffered a large budget deficit due to the coronavirus pandemic, Assanis said. A drop in first-year and out-of-state students contributed to a tuition deficit of more than $80 million.

In late September, the school said it will perform cost-saving measures, such as layoffs, voluntary staff hour reductions and unpaid leave programs.

All of these plans are subject to change.

“Of course, it is difficult to say with certainty what will happen in the weeks and months ahead, so our plans must remain flexible to accommodate the evolving nature of the pandemic,” Assanis said.

As of Oct. 18, 406 students and staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the school’s COVID-19 dashboard.

 

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press.

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