Details for students on campus and residential reopening in Fall 2020


James Madison University is making plans to safely welcome students back on campus this fall. 

The full plan can be viewed here.

Since the last communication regarding the intention to resume on-campus operations this fall, staff members have been hard at work developing plans and protocols in accordance with public health guidance to safeguard our community’s health and safety. Like universities across the country, JMU continues to plan for returning this fall in a very dynamic situation, but the paramount goal has always been and will continue to be protecting the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and greater Harrisonburg community.  

The hallmark of the JMU educational experience is the interaction between our students and faculty in classrooms, studios and labs, and we are excited to welcome students back to campus under the following procedures. The following guidance focuses on students. Guidance for employees can be found on JMU’s online Return to the Workplace website. 

Highlights of the guidance for students’ return: 

  • Students will be expected to answer health screening questions prior to returning to campus, and on a daily basis this Fall.
  • Everyone on campus will be required to wear a face mask where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Students will need to make good decisions about off-campus activities. JMU will offer a variety of educational resources and trainings to help.
  • It is our intention to adhere to our normal academic calendar.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting protocols for buildings on campus will be enhanced.
  • Class times and locations may shift to accommodate classroom cleaning and physical distancing, and some classes may need to be offered wholly or partially online.
  • JMU will employ a COVID-19 surveillance, testing and contact tracing strategy.
  • Isolation and quarantine policies will be deployed.

In addition to what is outlined above, the university’s entire working plan can be found here, and while subject to change, it has information related to on-campus housing, extracurricular activities, public transportation, dining operations, accommodations for higher-risk students and other important topics. 

For the latest information and updates, always visit

Media contact: Mary-Hope Vass,


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Published: Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2023

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