CONWAY, Ark. — As COVID-19 cases around the state continue to surge, the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) has announced that it will hold its first two days of classes virtually for the Spring 2022 semester.
The university will be virtual on Thursday, Jan.13 and Friday, Jan. 14, with exceptions for student teaching and 'certain health care professions within the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences.'
School President Houston Davis released the following statement explaining the changes to students, faculty, and staff:
Throughout the pandemic, our collective university goal has been to provide a high-quality educational and campus life experience while prioritizing the health and safety of our campus community, the Conway area, and the state of Arkansas. Due to the present spread of the Omicron variant, I am announcing one important change to the beginning of our spring 2022 semester that will help us adhere to that goal.
Davis says that the university will resume classes on Tuesday, Jan. 18 and that this period of virtual learning is part of an effort to keep students, staff, and faculty safe when the school returns for the spring semester.
"This shift will allow members of our campus community to finish current quarantine and isolation periods, to get tested for COVID-19 if needed, and to ensure that they are healthy before they reenter the classroom space," he said in a press release.
With the return of classes quickly approaching, those with the university said that they are focused on several actions heading into the Spring 2022 semester:
- Ensuring vaccine and booster shot availability for both UCA students and employees.
- Continuing to require face masks when in levels of high or 'substantial' community transmission.
- Urging best practices for health and hygiene.
- Continuing thorough testing and tracing protocol.
- Assessing and managing appropriate levels of quarantine and isolation housing.
- Prioritizing in-person courses and activities but having back-up plans for limited virtual instruction if necessary.