Trinity University has informed students that it's delaying the beginning of its spring semester by two weeks due to Bexar County's surge in COVID-19 cases.
The private liberal arts college appears to be the first campus in San Antonio and among the first in Texas to push back the start of its semester as the highly infectious omicron variant sweeps through the state.
"Due to a dramatic increase in the number of positive cases of COVID in our campus community, we have decided to extend winter break and delay the start of classes until Jan. 31," the school wrote. Staff returning to work before then must do so remotely and are encouraged to get a booster shot if they haven't done so already.
Other local campuses, including the University of Texas at San Antonio and the Alamo Colleges, told TV station KSAT they are monitoring the surge as they prepare for the new semester.
Trinity's announcement comes after colleges in the Northeast, including Georgetown, New York and Harvard universities moved the opening weeks of their semesters online.
Such moves have been rarer in Texas, although Rice University said it's shifting online for the first two weeks, and UT-Dallas is pushing back its start date.
Conversely, Southern Methodist University said in an email to students that it will follow the Centers for Disease Control's guidelines by slashing quarantine requirements to five days for infected students. It also reminded students that masks are optional and that classes would recommence on Jan. 3.
San Antonio's Metropolitan Health District reported 2,209 new COVID-19 cases during the past three days, while hospitalizations related to the virus are the highest since Halloween. The University of the Incarnate Word and the University of Texas at San Antonio have yet to comment on their spring semester changes publicly.
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