University of Rochester moving classes online for January amid omicron surge

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The University of Rochester is shifting all classes online and urging students to delay their return to campus amid an ongoing COVID-19 surge in Monroe County.

The U of R sent that message to students Wednesday, saying any students already on campus will be required to shelter in place. Dining and health services will be available.

“With the prevalence of the omicron variant, the sudden rise in current infection rates in Monroe County has caused our experts to recommend today that we keep our campus de-densified for the time being,” President Sarah Mangelsdorf and Interim Provost Sarah Peyre wrote in a statement issued Wednesday. “We want to stress that our campus is safe—and we want to keep it that way!”

University officials said they would share more information Thursday.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


Read the full message to students

Dear University of Rochester Students, Faculty, and Staff:

We want to alert you to an immediate—but temporary—change in operations for the spring semester. We’re sending this message tonight to let you know this decision as soon as possible, and will provide more details for students, faculty, and staff tomorrow, including information on research activities, athletics, remote work, and orientation programs.

The University of Rochester is fortunate to have a world-class medical center, and we have relied on the expert guidance of our epidemiologists and public health experts, as well as the guidance of our county health officials, as we have made decisions throughout the pandemic. Our primary goal has been to keep our community as safe as possible, while at the same time fulfilling our research, education, and healthcare missions.

As we mentioned in yesterday’s message, the public health situation is rapidly evolving. With the prevalence of the omicron variant, the sudden rise in current infection rates in Monroe County has caused our experts to recommend today that we keep our campus de-densified for the time being. We want to stress that our campus is safe—and we want to keep it that way!

In brief:

  • All academic programs will begin as scheduled, but classes (with the exception of clinical classes in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing) will be conducted online for the month of January.
  • All orientation programs will be conducted online.
  • Students who are currently on campus may stay on campus and shelter in place; dining and essential auxiliary and health services will continue to be available.
  • Students who have not yet arrived on campus should delay their return.
  • Students who cannot change their plans for campus arrival will be accommodated, but must shelter in place on arrival: our strong preference is for students to not return to campus at this time.
  • This is a temporary situation, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus as soon as possible. But for now, we ask that students delay their return.

We realize this change is abrupt, and leaves you with many operational questions and concerns, but we wanted to let you know of this change in plans immediately. As we mentioned at the outset of this message, we will be sending a broader message out tomorrow with more specifics, and we will keep you informed as our plans for returning to a fully in-person experience evolve.

Thank you again for your flexibility and patience as we navigate this rapidly changing world together.

Meliora,

Sarah C. Mangelsdorf
President and G. Robert Witmer, Jr. University Professor

Sarah Peyre
Interim Provost

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