Howard University in D.C. is delaying the start of its spring semester citing, among other things, a rising surge in coronavirus infections.
Classes will start Jan. 18 instead, with face-to-face courses scheduled to begin on that date. Formal classes had originally been scheduled to start Jan. 10.
The university’s most recent weekly positivity rate has increased to 19%, which is the highest number the school has seen throughout the pandemic, the university said in a news release.
We have seen a concerning increase in percentage and the number of positive cases over the past three weeks. To protect our community, we are delaying the start of the semester to January 18th.
— Howard University (@HowardU) December 28, 2021
With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicting a potential peak of COVID-19 cases in January, driven by the spread of the easily transmissible omicron variant, “At that rate, we would not have enough beds to quarantine positive students living in the residence halls, if students returned on the originally scheduled start date for the spring semester,” the university said.
Administrative operations will start Jan. 3, and students in professional programs will get guidance from their schools about accreditation and licensure requirements.
Students returning to campus will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test with four days before arrival.
Last week, The George Washington University said that it was planning to start the spring semester virtually.
D.C. is now one of the biggest hot spots for the coronavirus in the U.S., with an increasing daily average and hospitalizations on the rise.
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