The University of Cincinnati (UC) will conduct online classes for the first two weeks of the spring semester, according to an email sent out to students. Due to a recent increase in local, state and national COVID-19 cases, as well as the high transmission rate of the Omicron variant, the university has put in-person classes on pause.  

The university will move courses online beginning Jan. 5 and then return to full in-person activities on Jan. 24, due to consultations with faculty, staff, student leadership and Public Health experts who monitor the situation daily.  

To minimize the issues that come with the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant, along with subsequent quarantine and classrooms absences, the university decided that classes, along with academic support services, will be virtual for the first two weeks of the academic semester. 

The goal of this delay is for the university to assess the impact of the Omicron variant on the UC community, let the spike in transmissions run its course, implement additional measures for testing and vaccination and assess the feasibility of providing faculty, staff and students with the opportunity to receive booster shots.  

“We want to ensure that, when we come back, we come back to a safer, healthier, and fully vibrant face-to-face experience,” the email states. 

Exceptions for in-person activities such a clinical, lab, studio and performance activities will continue to be allowed, as long as practices for social distancing, heightened health measures and limited gatherings indoors are followed as outlined on UC’s public health website.   

As for those living in campus housing, students can return to campus residence halls as scheduled on a voluntary basis but must participate in required COVID-19 screening testing, for the time being, regardless of vaccination status.  

The university recommends that student-life and other campus activities such as planned in-person gatherings, including welcome back events and face-to-face onboarding, should either be canceled, minimized or moved to a remote format. 

Campus buildings will still be open to accommodate certain needs and research activities will also continue, though they will be governed by health and safety guidelines as previously stated. 

The university concluded the email by strongly encouraging students and members of the UC community to get a COVID-19 booster shot, as it is free, simple and safe.  

Continue checking back at TNR’s site as well as UC’s public health website for updated information and resources.

Multimedia Director

Kathleen Hornstra has been with The News Record since 2019 as the digital producer and now the multimedia director. She oversees TNR's website and social media presence. Kathleen is currently interning for Cincinnati Magazine as the digital intern.