NEW ORLEANS — After seeing an uptick in positive cases of COVID in part of the student population, Tulane University is offering remote learning for undergraduate students for the rest of the current semester.
In a letter sent to students Sunday, Tulane University President Michael A. Fitts and officials highlighted the uptick of cases is mostly in the undergraduate population.
The university said the positivity rate is lower than what was experienced in the past two years and anyone testing positive is either asymptomatic or has mild symptoms with no serious cases or hospitalizations as of yet.
"However, the timing of this surge – the closeness to the end of semester and to the holidays – is greatly adding to the complexity and anxiety surrounding this increase. Our goal with this letter is to articulate a clear path forward, for both students and faculty, so that we can complete the semester in a way that allows everyone to have a safe and happy holiday," said Tulane University officials.
Undergraduate students now have the option to complete their studies remotely either on campus, in their off-campus apartment or in their hometowns.
Tulane stated that since there is no significant increase in graduate students or professional students, the remote option does not apply to them and that the dean of each school will provide alternative learning modes if needed.
"We have asked much of our faculty over these past two years, and over this semester especially, as they have had to reorganize their classes in response both to COVID-19 and to Hurricane Ida. We are greatly appreciative of them for being as flexible and accommodating as possible and for their ongoing dedication to the education of our students in the most trying of circumstances. We also appreciate our students’ cooperative spirit, resilience and commitment to their studies during this continued challenging period," said Tulane University officials.
Students are being advised to get tested before leaving for the holidays so that they will not be a threat to their vulnerable relatives and friends and also ensure they can finish out any needed isolation before winter break.
All positive students have been isolated in off-campus locations until Dec. 23. If someone needs isolation they are asked to contact Dean of Students Erica Woodley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The indoor mask mandate, ongoing efforts for booster vaccinations and other safety protocols will continue.
The letter comes the day after the Tulane men's basketball program cancels the next couple of games due to positive cases.