STORRS, Conn. (AP) — UConn officials say they will be bringing students who plan to live on campus back to Storrs on August 14, two weeks before the planned start of classes.

That will allow for each student to be tested for COVID-19 and be placed in a modified quarantine before classes start on August 31.

The school says it will have about 70% of its normal capacity for housing, with priority being given to students who live furthest away from campus, first-year students and others with special needs.

UConn officials say any student who wants to attend all classes online will be able to do that. Many in-person classes will be limited to about 30% of normal capacity to maintain social distancing.

The school says it will still be able to offer between 35% and 50% of classes as in-person experiences, by utilizing alternative spaces and creative solutions, such as having half a class attend in person on a Tuesday and the other half on Thursday, while the rest attend online.

As of Wednesday, there have been 4,287 COVID-associated deaths in Connecticut, an increase of 10 since Tuesday. The number of new cases grew by only 14 since Tuesday, for a total of nearly 46,000. Hospitalizations continue to decline. There were 124 people being treated for COVID-19, 14 fewer than on Tuesday.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or lead to death.

In other coronavirus news in Connecticut:

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CHURCH TESTING SITES

Churches in Bridgeport, Connecticut's largest city, plan to transform their parking lots this summer into COVID-19 testing centers. It's part of a new state initiative to encourage people who live in urban areas to get tested regularly.

The pop-up test sites comes as Connecticut has struggled to reach its testing goals, including among Black and Hispanic neighborhoods, the Hartford Courant reported Wednesday. Lamont plans to soon unveil a new marketing campaign in several of the state's major cities to announce such testing sites. Already, at least six churches in Bridgeport have agreed to allow testing in their parking lots, to be provided by Optimus Health Care staff.

“We are planning to increase the amount of PSAs and other media that we’re doing related to contact tracing, but also to testing generally, the importance of testing, particularly targeting communities where we know the risk is higher and that have been more adversely impacted,” said Josh Geballe, Lamont's chief operating officer, on Monday.

Lamont said Monday he'd like to encourage people who live in densely populated areas get tested monthly. State officials hope the increased testing will be a way to help identify any flareups of infections from the coronavirus.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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