On the edge of a new year, Wayne State University announces a health safety step that feels like moving backward.
All classes revert to online-only instruction through January because of heightened Covid concerns. No in-person activities will take place on the Midtown campus.
"The number of [Omicron] cases in the Detroit area has already reached an alarming level," President M. Roy Wilson says in a Thursday email that's also posted. "We will see a time-limited but rapid increase in the number of cases in our region over the coming few weeks," he predicts, citing "the best predictive models."
Winter semester begins Jan. 10. Clinical students in pharmacy, nursing and medicine are advised to await "specific instruction from their deans."
WSU's switch to virtual courses until February, at the soonest, comes two days after Oakland University decided to start its semester in online-only status until Jan. 18 "barring a further need to respond to pandemic conditions."
At Wayne, athletic matches will proceed as scheduled -- but without fans. "Campus housing will remain open with guest visitation limited to campus residents only beginning Dec. 26," the advisory says. "Resident programming and activities will be virtual."
Except for "critical infrastructure employees," all WSU staff members "should work remotely," the announcment adds.
Wilson reminds students and faculty members that vaccine boosters are mandatory now, as announced Dec. 17. "Beginning Jan. 3, you are required to receive and upload proof of your booster at the time you are eligible," his statement says
The Campus Health Center offers booster shots on Jan. 4 and 13 from 9:20 a.m.-3:40 p.m. by making an appointment online or by calling at (313) 577-5105 or (313) 577-5041.