University of Dayton affirms spring semester plans amid rising COVID-19 cases

DAYTON — The University of Dayton will continue with their plan for in-person learning to start the spring semester later this month as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to climb across the state.

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The school will start the semester today, January 10, as previously planned, but due to the continued surge caused by the delta and omicron variants, some requirements and protocols will be adjusted, school officials said in a message to campus members Tuesday.

“This approach is based on the specific UD context and our knowledge about how remote learning, especially at the start of the semester, can create significant, long-term academic and life challenges for many students,” university officials said in the message. “Nearly two years of this pandemic have demonstrated clearly that in-person learning is crucial to both student well-being and academic success at the University of Dayton.”

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University officials cited high vaccination rates, as well as masking by students and instructors, kept COVID cases and transmissions low in the fall semester and those successes are factoring in the decision announced Tuesday.

“Given current conditions and the effectiveness of vaccines/boosters in mitigating serious illness from the currently dominant variant, we believe the University is well-positioned to sustain face-to-face learning through spring semester. But in order to maintain in-person classes, everyone must do their part to help curb the spread,” UD officials said.

The university will continue to have a facial covering protocol in place that requires masks at most indoor settings except when actively eating, drinking, or exercising and on UD transportation. “We also strongly encourage everyone, whether vaccinated or not, to wear a face covering in shared residential areas on campus such as common areas, lobbies, etc.,” officials said.

To align with the latest CDC guidance, the university will announce changes at a later date to the isolation or quarantine periods for people who test positive or are in close contact with someone who tests positive. Last week, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention cut the wait time in isolation from 10 days down to five.

Wright State also plans to start their semester this month with in-person learning and will be offering the same mix of in-person and remote class offerings that were available during the fall semester, a university spokesperson previously told News Center 7.

Last week, Wittenberg University announced a remote start to the spring semester, with all students and staff members required to submit a COVID-19 test before starting in-person learning later.

We’ll continue to update this story as we learn more.