North Texas – Two North Texas universities announced they are switching to virtual learning because of the alarming high number of new Covid-19 cases lately in the area, affecting both students and university staff.
According to multiple reports, University of Texas in Dallas and University of Texas in Arlington will both switch to virtual learning because of the Omicron variant, a measure that will last at least until February 4.
University of Texas in Arlington students who won’t be able to attend the virtual learning for some reason, can still attend in-person classes. The teachers for those courses will contact their students with plans, university officials said.
Those who will attend in-person classes on campus will be required to show a negative test at least until February 4 when the university officials will once again discuss and decide about potential further measures after this date.
The University of Texas in Dallas will do the same, switching most courses to online courses until Feb. 4.
Last week, UTD announced it was delaying the start of the spring semester because of the omicron variant. The university had to resume in-person learning on Jan. 18, which is the day after the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“As you are aware, the omicron variant, while less likely to result in severe illness, is highly contagious. In spite of our best efforts, we anticipate that many of our students, faculty and staff will be affected by this virus,” UTD officials said.
“Given the possibility of widespread absences due to isolation and quarantine measures, we have determined that adjustments to our operations are warranted during the early part of the spring semester.”
University of Texas in Dallas also changed their policy over testing. Instead of random Covid-19 testing in the spring semester, anyone who leaves, stays, learns and lives on the campus can now test free of charge.
Other universities and schools in the North Texas area are also implementing some additional Covid-19 measures with the surge of the Omicron variant. Some will switch to virtual learning, while others will simply implement mask mandates and continue with in-person teaching.