Healthcare

Harvard announces January move to remote learning, work as COVID-19 case numbers rise

Harvard University announced on Saturday that it would be transitioning to remote learning for several weeks in January amid an increase of new cases in the area and around the country.

In a letter to the school’s community, Harvard officials said that for the first three weeks of January, “we will take steps to reduce density on campus by moving much of our learning and work remotely.” 

The letter noted that students who had received approval from their specific school or previous authorization would be the only students allowed to remain on or return to campus during the three-week period.

Harvard officials acknowledged that some programs, including those requiring work in labs, would continue in person but said others would transition to remote work.

School officials signaled that the move was anticipated to be temporary, with “a return to more robust on-campus activities later in January, public health conditions permitting.”

“Please know that we do not take this step lightly. It is prompted by the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases locally and across the country, as well as the growing presence of the highly transmissible Omicron variant,” Harvard officials wrote. “It is reinforced by the guidance of public health experts who have advised the University throughout the pandemic. As always, we make this decision with the health and safety of our community as our top priority.”

Earlier this week, a Maryland school district also announced it would temporarily be transitioning to remote learning. 

The announcements come as the U.S. has started to see an uptick of cases and the spread of the omicron variant, which scientists are racing to learn more about. 

Tags COVID-19 Harvard Omicron variant Remote learning
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