University of Washington to return to in-person learning

SEATTLE (AP) — The University of Washington will return to in-person learning at the end of January after starting winter quarter online because of a omicron-fueled spike in COVID-19 cases.

letter from President Ana Mari Cauce to students on Monday said COVID-19 cases locally are declining, allowing the school to proceed with returning to in-person classes, KIRO-TV reported.

“The improving public health situation and the resulting reduction in coronavirus-related disruptions allow us to follow through with our plans to return to largely in-person classes and learning experiences on Monday, Jan. 31,” Cauce wrote in the letter.

Cauce wrote that students should expect their classes to be in the original format listed in the time schedule unless told otherwise. Accommodations can be requested by those with health-related conditions or needs that put them at heightened risk, according to the letter.

The school announced in December that most classes would be held online for the first week of winter quarter in January. Remote instruction was extended as COVID-19 cases continued to rise.

The university in Seattle requires requires masks indoors for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, and also requires all students and personnel to be vaccinated. The letter requested that people on campus “level up” mask protection by wearing KN95, KF94, N95 or surgical masks as people are able.