"We have to continue to actively work to maintain our health and safety as we go into the winter semester," Oakland University's president says Tuesday in announcing that students won't immediately return to campus next month.
The Rochester university, Michigan's eighth-largest, will offer only virtual learning for at least the first two weeks of 2022 "in light of the continuing spread of the Covid-19 virus," says a media release quoted by WXYZ. "Barring a further need to respond to pandemic conditions, classes will return to their previously scheduled delivery formats on Tuesday, Jan. 18."
Students in lab and field research courses are advised to contact instructors about possible in-person sessions.
Athletic events will be held as scheduled and the campus library will open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays only during the first two weeks of January.
OU adopted a two-vaccine mandate for students and staff last fall, with an Oct. 18 deadline for compliance. It also has required masks indoors.
The state's three largest universities require Covid vaccine boosters for students and employees early next year. The University of Michigan, Wayne State and Michigan State announced that mandate last Friday as the Omicron variant threat widens.
Wayne State also may resume virtual classes temporarily.
"We anticipate a potential increase in cases and positivity rates in the coming weeks," the chief health officer, registered nurse Laurie Lauzon Clabo, posted and emailed Friday evening. "These increases may make it necessary to transition all classes to a remote format for a limited time period at the beginning of the winter semester [Jan. 10]. We will send an additional communication to you regarding this by close of business Thursday, Dec. 23."