Faced with the threat of Omicron, UAA could close its classrooms
by carlos matíAS
Denise Runge, provost of Academic Affairs at the University of Anchorage, states that, in the event of an increase in cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, “We will consider a number of options,” among which she doesn’t rule out a general classroom closure.
Denise Runge told Sol de Medianoche this January 2022 that “all Anchorage campus faculty who are not already scheduled to teach their classes remotely can decide now whether the temporary change to distance mode is appropriate for their class. Faculty who teaches some subjects, particularly those in practical fields, such as healthcare and transportation, will probably not make the switch, as it may be difficult or nearly impossible to teach those courses remotely (examples: aviation maintenance or diesel mechanics).”
– Is it totally out of the question that the University will have to close classrooms and generalize online classes? The University is carefully monitoring the spread of COVID among our students, faculty, and staff, as we have done throughout the pandemic. While we do not anticipate a return to fully distance learning at this time, we will consider several options should we see an increase in cases.
– Can the University offer its students and faculty the opportunity to get vaccinated? UAA has strongly encouraged vaccinations for all members of our community since they became available. Our Student Health and Counseling Center offers Pfizer vaccines free of charge to enrolled students, and the University offers wellness “incentive points” to those employees who choose to get vaccinated.
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