Oakland University keeping classes remote through the end of January
Oakland University is extending its move to remote classes through the end of January to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, officials announced Monday.
"Due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, OU will continue to deliver most Winter 2022 courses, including hybrid and in-person classes, in an remote and online format through Monday, January 31," Provost Britt Rios-Ellis and Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Glenn McIntosh wrote in a letter to the community.
"We are hopeful that by waiting until February 1, we will be able to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and return to face-to-face classes more seamlessly."
Oakland University students began the winter semester with remote classes on Wednesday, and officials said at the time the online format would continue for the first two weeks through Jan. 17.
Rios-Ellis and McIntosh said for the rest of January the university will remain open, including the Kresge Library, Oakland Center and other university buildings unless otherwise posted.
They encouraged the campus community to observe safety precautions and for employees to coordinate with their supervisors to possibly arrange remote work.
Rios-Ellis and McIntosh also recommended that everyone get vaccinated against COVID-19, get a booster shot when eligible and upload verification to the Graham Health Center patient portal. They also recommended testing for infection regardless of vaccination to monitor the status of a virus that can present without symptoms. The Oakland Center offers free testing.
"Please rest assured that we will continue to make data-informed decisions to protect the OU community," Rios-Ellis and McIntosh said.
Michigan State, Wayne State and Eastern Michigan universities also decided that the beginning of the semester would be held remotely due to the surge of COVID-19 cases linked to the omicron variant.
Eastern will be online through Jan. 17; Michigan State through Jan. 28 and Wayne State until Jan. 31, according to a dashboard maintained by the Michigan Association of State Universities.
Other public universities, including the University of Michigan, have begun the new semester with in-person classes.