Amid rising COVID cases, UM will start spring term online

The campus of the University of Miami Coral Gables.  UM announced Thursday evening that it would start the 2022 spring semester remotely due to an increase in COVID cases in Florida.

The campus of the University of Miami Coral Gables. UM announced Thursday evening that it would start the 2022 spring semester remotely due to an increase in COVID cases in Florida.

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Amid the rapid increase in COVID cases in South Florida, the University of Miami announced Thursday evening that it would begin the spring semester with distance education only for the first two weeks.

Classes will start on Tuesday, Jan. 18, as scheduled, but students will not attend classes in classrooms on Coral Gables or Marine campuses, according to an email sent at 7:10 p.m. from UM President Julio Frenk. . Students and employees at the medical campus will follow the advice of UHealth and the Miller School of Medicine, Frenk said.

Classes will resume with in-person instruction on Jan.31, he added.

In addition, orientation and interior campus events scheduled for the first two weeks of the semester will either be transferred online or postponed.

UM’s decision to switch to distance learning at the start of the semester follows a trend that is occurring at many colleges across the country as they face an increase in COVID cases caused by the variant. highly contagious omicron of the coronavirus converging with the delta variant and loosening security protocols such as mask warrants.

UF professors say classes should start remotely in spring

The Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the state’s 12 public universities with more than 330,000 students, on Wednesday urged all students and employees to wear masks on campus and receive booster injections before the start. classes in January, according to a letter posted on its website. by Chairman of the Board Syd Kitson and Chancellor of the System Marshall Criser, as first reported by the News Service of Florida.

University of Florida faculty union leaders on Tuesday sent UF President Kent Fuchs an email requesting that the university begin distance learning during the first three weeks of the spring term, which begins Jan. 5, according to the press service report.

Fuchs responded in an email on Wednesday, saying he would “let the negotiating team respond to elements specifically from the union,” the press service reported.

At UM, “only staff who have been on campus to directly support students and faculty are expected to return to work on site next week as scheduled,” Frenk’s email read. Professors and staff working remotely are expected to be back on campus on January 31.

Returning students will be required to test negative within 48 to 72 hours of arriving on campus. Students who live on campus in residential accommodation will be re-tested upon arrival.

Booster shots required to be fully vaccinated at UM

UM also announced that in order for school community members to be considered “fully immunized,” they must receive their booster shots.

But students are not required to be vaccinated. On the contrary, students who are not fully immunized, including a booster, will be tested twice a week.

At the start of the fall semester in August, the UM Faculty Senate unanimously passed a resolution recommending that students be vaccinated, except for those with religious exemptions. The senate did not influence the spring measures because the school is closed for the holidays.

Frenk’s email also states that masking inside will continue to be required.

Finally, UM will adjust its isolation and quarantine policies in accordance with the most recent CDC guidelines. On Monday, the CDC shortened the recommended quarantine time for people who test positive for COVID from 10 days to five days if they don’t have symptoms.

The email says further instructions will be announced next week.

This story was originally published December 29, 2021 9:43 pm.

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