Saint-Louis area universities add new COVID rules amid wave

ST. LOUIS – The spring semester is fast approaching and universities are taking new measures to keep everyone safe in the face of increasing cases of COVID-19 throughout the Saint-Louis region.

The University of Washington announced on Thursday that it will switch to virtual learning for two weeks when classes resume on January 18. The university also requires students to be tested for COVID before returning to campus. In addition, there will be no crowds during sporting events.

WashU will mail kits with two self-tests to every student on the Danforth campus whose US address is on official university records.

The University of Saint Louis also tightened its COVID-19 rules this week. It requires that all students and employees of SLU Care receive a reminder by January 31. All other staff will have until February 28 to get a recall.

However, the university urges everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible, preferably during the winter break.

“I totally agree, anything to bring life back to normal on campus,” said Kiyan Haiter, a student at SLU. “I got mine a few days ago actually.”

SLU plans to start the spring semester in person, but is prepared to consider other options if necessary.

“We have contingency plans that we are discussing that we may need to implement if we see a large number of cases on campus,” said Terri Rebmann, professor and special assistant to the president of SLU. “So in other words, we have backup plans and we’re ready to pivot quickly. “

While not a requirement, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville “strongly urges” students and staff to obtain a COVID recall as soon as they are eligible.

For the spring semester, SIUE is asking unvaccinated students and staff to take a mandatory weekly COVID test on campus. Completely online students who learn at a distance are exempt.

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