As omicron spreads, Monmouth College to start semester with online classes. What we know – Galesburg Register-Mail
MONMOUTH — Monmouth College will join the growing list of colleges and universities that will start the semester with online-only instruction because of the surge in COVID-19 cases.
In a letter that went out to students Wednesday, Monmouth College President Clarence Wyatt announced spring classes will begin as scheduled, on Jan. 11; however, all classes will be held in a remote format for the first two weeks of the semester. Cocurricular activities, other than a modified practice model for athletics, will be suspended for the two-week period.
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“I had hoped this would be the semester when our campus returned to normal, but because of the curve we have been thrown by the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus, we must take several measures to ensure the campus remains safe and healthy while disrupting your Monmouth educational experience as little as possible,” Wyatt said.
After consulting with public health experts and meeting with the college’s COVID operations team, it was decided students will return to their residence halls as scheduled for the 2022 spring semester.
All Monmouth College students will take a COVID test upon their return to campus. All students will be provided with KN95 masks, which they will be required to wear whenever they are outside of their residence hall room — including in common areas and study rooms.
During the first two weeks of the semester, meals and drinks will be served only in a grab-and-go format in Stockdale Center cafeteria and at Einstein Bagel Bros. All academic buildings, including Hewes Library, will remain open during the first two weeks but masks must be worn at all times, without exception.
“It is our hope that holding classes in a remote format and suspending most cocurricular activities for two weeks will allow the campus to have a ‘cool down’ that will minimize the spread of the omicron variant,” Wyatt said. “This also will allow us to preserve our 2022 spring semester calendar so that we can still enjoy a spring break from March 4-13 and celebrate Commencement Weekend on May 14-15.”
Neighboring Knox College, which started its winter term Monday, has taken a similar approach.
In a letter to the Knox Community dated Dec. 31, school officials announced the college will extend virtual instruction for all winter term courses to two weeks. No in-person course activities will be permitted during the weeks of Jan. 3-7 and January 10-14.