Local universities delay spring semester classes due to surge in COVID-19 cases

Coronavirus

Classes at local universities are being delayed at most schools in our region. Administrators are blaming holiday gatherings and the spike in COVID-19 cases.

Here is more about these delays.

COVID-19 continues to have an impact on local college campuses.

Many local college students will return to classrooms later than intended.

Gannon University representatives made the decision to postpone the spring semester start date by one week with classes resuming on Tuesday January 18th.

“Saw a significant jump in testing that we’re doing that. We saw ourselves as we bring employees and some students back to campus. We thought it would be prudent to provide a little more time for the surge to work its way through the population before we brought them back onto campus,” said Doug Oathout, Chief of Staff, Gannon University.

Gannon University representatives said that they’ve learned a lot about COVID mitigation efforts in the last 20 months.

Representatives added that with local case numbers as high as they are, its not the best time for students to return to the classroom.

“There are national estimates that January 9th is going to be the peak of the omicron surge across the country. Hopefully that’s true for Erie County as well which is seeing an enormous amount of cases in the last ten days,” said Oathout.

Another university is pushing back the start date of spring term all in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID.

Mercyhurst University announced that classes will resume on Monday January 17th.

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Classes at Edinboro University will begin on Tuesday January 18th, and students at Penn State Behrend will begin their spring semester as planned in person on Monday January 10th.

Representatives from local universities said that masking efforts will continue in all campus buildings.

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