EAST LANSING, Mich. – Students at Michigan State University will be starting the upcoming semester online as the campus community and state continue to battle a surge in COVID-19 spread.
University president Samuel Stanley announced Friday that classes will begin remotely for the winter 2022 semester beginning on Jan. 10 due to a spike in COVID infections among the campus community. MSU courses will operate remotely for at least the first three weeks into the semester, officials said.
“I realize that students prefer to be in person, and so do I. But it is important that we do so in a safe manner,” Stanley wrote in a statement on Friday. “Starting the semester remotely and de-densifying campus in the coming weeks can be a solution to slowing the spread of the virus. During the first three weeks, my leadership team and I will be reviewing case numbers and other COVID-19 trends regularly to determine what additional protective measures will be enacted.”
Residential halls, dining halls and the library will reportedly remain open at the beginning of the semester for those who are on campus. Some classes and labs will still be meeting in person during this time, officials said, and instructors will be reaching out to their students directly with details.
The news comes as the coronavirus, likely partly driven by the new omicron variant, continues to spread rapidly across the state and country. On Wednesday, Michigan health officials reported the highest-ever single-day COVID case totals since the pandemic began.
Michigan’s Oakland University and Wayne State University are also beginning the incoming semester online in an effort to slow virus spread amid the surge.
Earlier this month, Michigan State University officials announced that on-campus students, faculty and staff members would be required to receive a COVID-19 booster shot in order to be considered “fully vaccinated.”