Wayne State Resumes Virtual Learning Until January 31 due to COVID Variant

Wayne State University (WSU) is combating the COVID-19 omicron variant by transitioning its in-person classes to online until Monday, January 31, FOX 2 Detroit reported.

In a letter from WSU President Roy Wilson, the online classes (which begin Monday, January 10) will be virtual until the end of the month because of the omicron variant cases in metro Detroit and the expected spike.

“At this time, we know that the omicron variant is present in Michigan, that it is highly contagious, and that the number of cases in the Detroit area has already reached an alarming level,” Wilson said in the letter. “We also know from the best predictive models that we will see a time-limited but rapid increase in the number of cases in our region over the coming few weeks. As we have since the pandemic began, we will lead with the safety of our campus community in mind and move forward with plans to maintain a decreased campus presence through January.”

WSU students can attend virtual classes at the same time they were going to meet in person, FOX 2 Detroit reported.

Beginning now and continuing until Jan. 31:

  • Students in clinical classes in the licensed health professions in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the College of Nursing, and the School of Medicine will receive specific instruction from their deans.
  • All critical infrastructure employees will continue to report to work. All other campus employees should work remotely. Employees with questions about whether to report to work should contact their supervisor. 
  • The Office of the Vice President for Research will send a follow-up message regarding research operations.
  • The Mort Harris Recreation and Fitness Center will be open with enhanced safety protocols.
  • The Student Center will be open for WSU faculty, students and staff with access at the north entrance only through presentation of a OneCard and a Campus Daily Screener. Midtown Market and the food court will be open. Adherence to mask-wearing will be required. Check here for hours of operation.
  • Towers Café and other campus retail will remain open with increased vigilance and continued adherence to mask-wearing requirements.  Check here for hours of operation.
  • Campus libraries will be open with enhanced safety guidelines in place; check the Libraries website for hours and safety guidelines.
  • International students may continue to move in as planned. 
  • The W Pantry and Wardrobe will continue to operate. Check the W’s website for the latest information.
  • The Dean of Students Office and Computing & Information Technology have a process in place to ensure that every Wayne State student has the computing resources they need to be successful. If you are aware of a student who has unmet technology needs, please start the process by filling out this form.
  • The WSU Bookstore will be open and continue to provide full service in person and on its website to support students’ access to their course materials. No community seating will be available and the café will be closed.  Check the bookstore’s website for hours of operation. 

Will called this a “temporary measure.”

“We will continue to analyze the latest data and anticipate that we will be able to resume in-person classes and activities at the beginning of February,” Wilson said.

A booster requirement is also now part of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. In Wilson’s letter, he said beginning Jan. 3, the WSU community is required to receive and upload proof of your booster at the time you are eligible, which is six months past the second dose for Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two months past the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Campus Daily Screener will be updated accordingly, and those who are unvaccinated or past their due date for a booster will not be permitted on campus unless they have an approved waiver. The Campus Health Center is currently offering all vaccines and boosters, and has several booster clinics scheduled, including new dates on Jan. 4, 13 and 14 that WSU community members can register for here.

“The omicron variant spreads rapidly, but we are confident that by adhering to the safety measures that have guided us through this pandemic, we can make a quick return to campus,” Wilson said. 

Other changes:
Athletic events will continue, but spectators are not able to attend.
Only campus residents can be inside campus housing (beginning December 26).
All on-campus events and activities are canceled or will move to virtual

Read the full letter here.

Read the full story here.

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