Howard University to Postpone Spring Semester Due to Rise in COVID-19 Cases

Howard University Spring Semester

Howard University will delay the start of the spring 2022 semester for undergraduate and graduate students until January 18, 2022, due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, the university has announced.

“Face-to-face courses will begin on that date. University administrative operations will begin on January 3, 2022. Students in professional programs will receive specific guidance from their schools to accommodate accreditation and licensure requirements,” university officials said in a message to the Howard community.

The university has also required all individuals returning to campus from winter break to show a negative PCR test within four days before arriving on campus, Erudera.com reports.

Previously, Howard University said that all students, faculty, and staff, will be asked to get their COVID-19 boosters by Monday, January 31, 2022, if they are eligible for a booster, or within 30 days after becoming eligible. 

According to the message, exemptions on medical and religious grounds will also be granted, while everyone can receive their boosters on campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.-3 p.m without needing to schedule an appointment.

At the same time, students have been required to continue uploading vaccine documentation in Med+Proctor, and employees in Workday, while masks will still be required indoors or in gatherings outdoors.

“Our highest priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. These steps will help us maintain as safe an environment as possible in order to provide the best educational experience to our students,” the statement reads.

The number of positive cases across Howard has increased to 19 percent, which according to the university, is the highest percentage the institution has seen throughout the pandemic.

In a bid to slow the spread of the COVID-19, many higher education institutions across the United States have announced they are planning to continue online classes in January after the winter break, including Duke University, Columbia University, and the University of California at Los Angeles.

Several others will also delay the start of the spring semester, including Yale University. The latter announced that it will delay the start of its spring semester by one week and will also continue classes virtually for students in Yale College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS).

“A recent, worldwide surge in COVID-19 cases, driven by the highly infectious omicron strain, has prompted us to raise alert levels on campus and adjust our plans to best protect our community,” President Peter Salovey and Provost Scott Strobel wrote in a message.

According to the message, the semester will begin on January 25 at Yale College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

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