State Watch

Washington state universities returning to in-person classes

The University of Washington and Seattle University are set to return to in-person learning at the end of this month.

University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce said in a letter to students on Monday that the change is a result of declining local cases of COVID-19.

“The improving public health situation and the resulting reduction in coronavirus-related disruptions allow us to follow through with our plans to return to largely in-person classes and learning experiences on Monday, Jan. 31,” Cauce wrote in the letter.

University of Washington students began the winter semester online in an effort to mitigate cases connected to the omicron variant, The Associated Press reported.

Seattle University President Eduardo M. Peñalver sent a similar letter to staff and students on Monday, saying in-person classes will resume on Jan. 31 as well, the news service noted.

Earlier in the semester, the university made the decision to conduct classes remotely due to the surge in coronavirus cases.

According to Cauce, University of Washington students can expect their courses to remain at the same times and in the same format unless they are instructed otherwise. She also applauded students for their cooperation during uncertain times.

“We cannot promise this will be the last time the coronavirus will cause disruptions to our University,” Cauce wrote in the letter. “We understand how hard dealing with uncertainty is and the anxiety it causes. But what we can promise is that we are committed to in-person learning when the public health situation allows for it and that we will continue to be guided by the best science and our health experts, as we have been throughout the pandemic. UW students’ collective willingness to get vaccinated and boosted and to be so diligent in masking up, among other things, is helping us get to a future where COVID-19 is treated more like a virus to guard against, but not one that upends society.”

State Watch