Rising COVID cases postponed in-person learning for college semester


NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) – The start of the spring academic semester will not start as planned for three universities in Nashville.

They are already responding to COVID cases and are now pushing back the start of the year.

College students across the country have learned to adapt to social changes as a result of the pandemic.

In 2020, students like many others were expected to learn at home and online.

“We had this stuff delayed, and we had blended learning my first year where we had the option to do it online or in person, but we had a little more notice last year,” Belmont student Miranda Grustas said.

Belmont University alerted students and staff last week in an email to the changes for the semester.

With the increase in Omicron numbers across the country, flight disruptions, and our return to campus so close to New Year’s Day, this semester’s courses will start entirely online at Wednesday 5 January and the residences will remain closed until saturday january 15. We will resume fully face-to-face lessons on Tuesday, January 18.

We recognize that this schedule change will create additional questions, and we will contact you as soon as possible with more information. The faculty will be in touch with you soon with details on how your classes will meet online between January 5 and 18. In addition, the University will reimburse accommodation and board for students in residence until January 15 depending on this change in schedule. Stay tuned for more information on the safe relocation and return protocols to campus.

Please continue to be diligent in your COVID-19 safety measures – wear a mask, stay home if you feel ill and receive your COVID-19 vaccine – or if you have already been vaccinated and are eligible, get your booster.

We appreciate your continued commitment to ensuring the safety of the entire University community.

Belmont University

“I guess the break was so we could get back to normal more quickly rather than quarantining everyone on campus like the second they came back, and all the germs got mixed up,” Grustas.

Grustas said the news caught her off guard.

“I was shocked. I was very, I was very surprised. Because I just booked my flight the day before.”

It’s not just Belmont making semester changes due to COVID.

Tennessee State University has announced that spring semester classes will be delayed by one week and will begin on Monday, January 24, 2022, due to the COVID-19 omicron variant. TSU will open as scheduled on January 3 for administrators and staff.

Undergraduates at Vanderbilt University will be delaying the start of the semester until January 17, which is also Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Vanderbilt will also be expanding its testing program for the spring. This will include the required tests for all returning students prior to their arrival on campus.

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