Howard University Returns to Online Classes Due to Rise in COVID-19 Cases

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 19, 2022

Howard University Spring Semester

Howard University officials have announced that Howard will move some classes online for the final weeks of the term after a rise in COVID-19 cases among the university’s community.  

The decision comes as the number of positive cases at the university has been rising in the past week, from two percent to five percent.

“Over the past week, the positivity rate at the University increased from 2 percent to approximately 5 percent. Again, this increase is partly due to the impact of the BA.2 omicron subvariant. BA.2 is now the dominant strain in the United States, including in D.C. and on our campus,” the university notes.

According to the university, undergraduate courses can be pursued online until April 22, and students will also take their final exams virtually.

Howard officials also pointed out that laboratory courses will complete the final week of labs as planned but with strict masking and other mitigation measures.

Moreover, graduate and professional students in dentistry, divinity, education, graduate school, law, medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy, and social work, as well as those studying fine arts and pursuing performance courses, will maintain their in-person schedule as announced previously.

Residence halls will be open, and students will be able to check out of the residence halls early if they have classes online and they don’t have face-to-face finals with their professors.

The university leaders have also advised students to organize social gatherings outdoors as the weather is improving.

While addressing the university’s community, the university’s president, Wayne A.I. Frederick, said that Howard had taken such a decision in order to be able to hold the graduation ceremony in person, which this year is expected to be held on May 7.

“I don’t want us to get into the last week of April with a high infection rate that may threaten to have an in-person commencement. That’s why I’m taking the measure to go virtual now, so we can try to suppress the infection rate, especially among seniors,” Frederick said.

The university will continue to apply the following measures, which according to officials, have protected the community:

  • Masks are required in all indoor settings, as well as outdoors in group settings until the end of the Spring 2022 semester
  • The community is still encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and booster when eligible
  • Weekly COVID-19 testing will continue until the end of the Spring 2022 semester

Howard has advised its students and employees to use the daily screening Bison SAFE app and remain vigilant with all COVID-19 public health measures.

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