The College Post
The College Post -- Covering Higher Education in America

Increase of COVID-19 Cases Forces Colleges to Revert to Online Classes

Colleges plagued by a surge in COVID-19 cases as well as some which took preventative measures are among a growing list of universities reverting to online classes.

For example, local health officials in Ann Arbor, Michigan, issued a stay-in-place order for 14 days after University of Michigan students comprised 60 percent of recently diagnosed cases in the city.

In a letter to the community, University President Mark Schlissel wrote that the school will issue guidelines shifting undergraduate classes to remote learning, except where in-person instruction will “substantially enhance” instruction.

Meanwhile, St. Michael’s College of Vermont announced a shift to remote classes after they recorded six asymptomatic cases. They have also taken precautions to have students tested for COVID-19.

Other Colleges Display Caution

Additional colleges have also decided to shift to remote classes. Clemson University in South Carolina announced that they would revert to online-only classes after the Thanksgiving break. The last in-person class will be on November 24. Students are encouraged not to return to campus for the rest of the semester when they leave.

The decision was made as part of the university’s health strategy as they project the need to quarantine roughly 200 students when they return to campus after the holiday. The school announced refunds to those who have paid for campus residences and unlimited meal plans for the semester.

More institutions that have decided to switch to fully online classes for the semester are the College of Wooster in Ohio and Casper College in Wyoming.

Casper College on Wednesday announced a transition to “majority remote classes” after Thanksgiving. The measure was taken to “assist local health services and staff which could wear thin” after the holiday.

The College of Wooster will continue with remote learning as a preventative measure for the rest of the semester after the state of Ohio recently recorded its highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases, exceeding 2,400 who tested positive. Additional Ohio colleges such as Kent State University have not yet made announcements.

As more colleges and universities record a rising number of COVID-19 cases on or around campus, the number of colleges returning to online classes is set to further increase.