Officials with Penn State University have made the decision to delay the return of in-person classes for the upcoming spring semester, according to a university release.
Campus officials say that students will begin the spring semester on January 19, but all learning will remain remote through Feb. 12.
As of now, the university is planning to have students return to in-person instruction on Feb. 15.
“While we know this creates a number of challenges for our community, we are very concerned with the current outlook across the country and the commonwealth and believe this is the most responsible way to begin our semester. Shifting to a remote start has been a scenario we have been preparing for by building flexibility into every level of our operations in order to prioritize our students’ academic achievement,” said Penn State President Eric J. Barron.
“Right now, prevalence rates and hospitalizations are moving in the wrong direction. We hope that will change, as we recognize the critical importance of a return to on-campus learning and to being able to offer in-person experiences that are not currently possible. We are committed to bringing our students back to our campuses, and in accordance with state and federal guidance.”
Officials add that students are strongly discouraged from returning to campus, off-campus housing and other group locations, such as fraternities, during the initial remoted period at the beginning of the semester.
Students will also be required to be tested for COVID-19 prior to their return to campus.