Harvard University Shifts Mainly to Distance Learning, Works First Three Weeks of January Due to Rise in COVID Cases

Harvard University has decided to move much of its learning and work online to the first three weeks of January due to an increase in COVID-19 cases locally and nationally, officials said. .

The plan to go remote for most of the learning and work was announced Saturday in a message to the Harvard community.

“Please know that we are not taking this step lightly. It is driven by the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases locally and across the country, as well as the growing presence of the highly transmissible variant of Omicron. It is reinforced by the advice of public health experts who have advised the University throughout the pandemic, ”the message read.

During those three weeks, only students who have been previously cleared to stay on campus or those who receive permission from their schools should plan to return to campus, the post said.

Some programs will continue in person, such as those that require an essential in-person lab or patient-centered clinical requirements, the university said.

If possible, Harvard asked faculty, staff, and researchers to work remotely during the period.

Online library services, book request services and some library facilities will be available during the three weeks, according to the message.

“Public health experts predict that the increase in COVID-19 cases will continue, driven by the Omicron variant, which we have now confirmed is already present in our campus community. The Omicron variant is expected to become the dominant variant across the country in the coming weeks, potentially peaking in the first weeks of January, ”the post said.

Harvard said it plans to resume more activities on campus later in January, as public health conditions allow.

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Maria D. Ervin