HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - William Carey University announced Wednesday that most students will not return to campus after the Christmas break due to COVID-19.
The university will continue online courses through Feb. 16. rather than return to in-person classes on Jan. 11.
“Our top priority is the safety and health of our students and employees. Second to that is our determination to enable students to make progress toward their degrees. While the news about vaccines is encouraging, it will still be some time before we see a reduction in the virus,” WCU President Dr. Tommy King said in a news release. “With this in mind, we’ve made the decision to continue online instruction until the end of the winter trimester. I am pleased that our students have responded so well to the online approach to teaching we have been forced to use – and I pray that we can allow students to return to campus for the spring trimester.”
Some professional programs will continue on-campus instruction, including the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Department of Physical Therapy at the Hattiesburg campus and the School of Pharmacy at the Tradition campus. Exceptions may also be made for science labs and clinical courses.
“William Carey opened for in-person instruction, under strict COVID-19 safety protocols, at the start of the fall trimester. The university planned at that time not to bring most students back between the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, so students were already at home taking their classes online,” WCU Provost Dr. Garry Breland said. “We had hoped to welcome students back to campus on Jan. 11. But with the surge in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, it’s more prudent to extend the period of online instruction through the end of the winter trimester.”
University officials said they will continue to monitor the situation and make additional announcements as they are made.