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U.S. universities move final exams online as COVID-19 spreads anew -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: A coronavirus vaccine (COVID-19). Students received it at the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio U.S.A, September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Gaelen Morse/File Photo

Brendan O’Brien and Lisa Shumaker by Barbara Goldberg

(Reuters] – As the Omicron coronavirus variant spread rapidly, a growing number of U.S. colleges had to move final exams online. They also cancelled non-essential events. People rushed to the medical clinics for testing.

Many schools are reassessing their campus policies after confirmed Omicron cases were found in 36 states. This was stated by Rochelle Walensky, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director.

She added that the Delta variant is still responsible for the majority of cases.

Cornell University, upstate New York reported a spike despite the fact that 97% of staff and students are currently vaccinated. On Monday, 276 COVID cases were added to the school’s Ivy League ranks. This brings this week’s totals up to 883.

Princeton University, New Jersey students will begin their finals online on Thursday. According to Jill Dolan, the school has ordered that all indoor events with food and any where faces cannot be covered, will be cancelled effective Thursday through January 7.

New York University, New York City cancelled all non-essential gatherings. On Wednesday, Katherine Fleming the Provost stated in a statement that new case numbers have increased significantly based on data from her testing program.

“It’s not a cause for alarm, but it is a cause for concern, caution, and appropriate actions,” she said, adding that the school is strongly encouraging final exams be taken online.

A Reuters tally shows that COVID hospitalizations increased by about 10% within the last seven day. The lines for testing have gotten long outside medical clinics throughout the United States, including New York City.

Over the past week, U.S. infections have remained relatively stable with 120,000 new cases daily and 1,300 deaths. The United States leads the world in the daily average number of new infections reported, accounting for one in every 5 infections reported worldwide each day

Since the outbreak, there have been 50.318,986 cases of infection and 803,203 deaths from coronavirus-related causes.

Anthony Fauci, a top U.S. infectious diseases expert, urged Americans to receive booster shots. He said that an extra dose of COVID-19 vaccines works against Omicron coronavirus variants and no variant-specific boosters are necessary.

DePaul University of Chicago announced earlier in the month that students will have access to their winter quarter online for two weeks from January 3, through 15, 2012.

After receiving 34 additional cases, Middlebury College in Vermont cancelled in-person classes for its 3,200 students last week.

Middlebury officials stated that “many of the cases we have found appear to be linked, occurring in clusters between people who socialize together,” adding that an increase in COVID-19 prevalence increases the possibility of wider community transmission. They also noted that 91% of 3,200 school students were vaccinated.

Others schools like Northeastern University of Boston have just implemented booster requirements. Tulane University however, has reinstated its mask mandates.