▲ Harvard University
Due to the spread of Omicron, a new variant of COVID-19, prestigious American universities are switching to distance learning or canceling graduation ceremonies one after another.
Harvard University announced on the 18th local time that it would reintroduce distance learning for the first three weeks of January through a statement in the name of President Lawrence Bacow, The New York Times (NYT) and others reported on the 19th.
Under this measure, current students will not be allowed to stay on campus for this period unless they have obtained prior permission or have special personal circumstances.
The university explained that this is a response to a resurgence of Corona 19 due to the more contagious omicron mutation.
“Public health experts expect that the number of COVID-19 cases will continue to rise because of Omicron,” said Bae Kow.
“The omicron mutation is expected to become the dominant species across the United States in the coming weeks,” he warned, warning that “it is likely to peak in the first few weeks of January.”
Harvard University reported 344 new cases last week, but it was very rare that the weekly number of cases exceeded 100 until December, the New York Times reported.
Prior to the transition to distance learning, Harvard University made it compulsory for students, professors, and faculty to vaccinate students, professors, and staff before the start of next spring semester on the 16th.
Prior to Harvard University, Middlebury College, Vermont, decided to switch to distance learning for the remainder of the semester, and DePaul University and Southern New Hampshire University announced plans to switch to distance learning from January.
Other Ivy League schools (preferred private universities in the northeast of the US) are also taking drastic measures to combat omicron mutations.
Cornell University, which has been flooded with patients suspected of Omicron, has announced that it will cancel the December graduation ceremony, close libraries and gyms, and virtually ban outsiders from visiting the campus.
In Tompkins County, New York, where several university campuses, including Cornell University, are located, the number of new cases surged by 640% in the past two weeks, according to the New York Times.
As of the 17th of last week, New York State as a whole had 21,908 new confirmed cases, breaking the daily record for the most in one day.
Princeton University has also announced that it will switch to online testing and cancel all indoor gatherings with food after a suspected patient of Omicron.
(Photo = Getty Images Korea)