UNIVERSITY VILLAGE — As coronavirus cases surge across the state, the University of Illinois at Chicago is suspending in-person classes for the remainder of the fall semester.
University officials announced plans to stop in-person instruction at all sites and move to online learning by the end of the week in an announcement Wednesday.
In a letter to students and staff, Chancellor Michael D. Amiridis lauded the UIC community for keeping UIC’s coronavirus positivity rate “significantly lower than the corresponding rate in the general community.”
“Unfortunately, the COVID-19 cases continue to rise significantly in our city, in our state and across the nation. Given our location and the continuous interactions with the community at large, we cannot completely mitigate these effects, as indicated by the most recent results of our surveillance testing,” Amiridis said.
The chancellor said “out of an abundance of precaution, we must now implement stricter measures to protect the health and safety of our community members and curb the spread of this disease.”
“Since the beginning of the fall, we have known that conditions may require us to adjust our operations, depending on the general public health circumstances and our own surveillance results. We have planned for this possibility, and now is the time to act,” he said.
Among the new restrictions, athletic activities will be suspended for the remainder of the semester. However, the university will allow the men’s and women’s basketball teams to begin their season starting later this month.
On Wednesday, another 145 Illinoisans were reported to have died from coronavirus. The state also reported 12,657 confirmed cases in the past day, a record high. That’s the 12th time in the past 27 days Illinois has broken a record for new cases in a single day. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois to 523,840.
As a result of the surge, state officials have urged everyone to stay home as much as possible during the next three weeks.
UIC’s fall semester kicked off in August under a hybrid plan of in-person and online classes. Some professors and students expressed concerns about in-person learning.
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