In an effort to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Kutztown University has announced it will start its spring semester virtually.
A message sent to the campus community Wednesday says that when classes begin on Jan. 19, a 100% remote learning format will be used. Full virtual learning will last for the first two weeks of the semester, with in-person classes resuming on Feb. 1.
The state Department of Health has recommended colleges and universities delay the start of the spring semester because of the continued high number of COVID-19 cases this fall and an expectation that number will worsen over the holiday season.
Kutztown students will begin moving back to campus on Jan. 29. They will be contacted by university officials about scheduled move-in dates and times.
The school had planned to begin the semester similarly to the way it operated during the fall semester, with a mix of in-person and virtual courses.
All students are being asked to quarantine in their homes for seven days prior to returning to campus. International students will be contacted by the International Admissions and Services Office about their return-to-campus plan.
And student who is sick is asked to stay home and not return to campus until their symptoms subside.
Kutztown will also be requiring all students living on campus to be tested for COVID-19 as a condition to live in residence halls. Upon their return to campus, students will report to O'Pake Fieldhouse one hour before their assigned move-in time to be tested for COVID-19, receiving their results by email about 15 minutes after being tested.
Students will need to present their negative test result to Kutztown staff before being allowed to move into a residence hall. Students who test positive will be required to return home and isolate per guidelines from the state Department of Health.
Voluntary COVID-19 testing will be available for students living off campus on Jan. 27 and 28 and Feb. 1 and 2. Preregistration will be available at a later date.
Kutztown employees will also be offered voluntary testing on the same dates as off-campus students. The university will cover the cost of employees' tests.
The university is pursuing additional testing opportunities throughout the spring semester for both students and employees, including prior to leaving campus at the end of the semester. Details will be announced at a future date.