University of Central Oklahoma to temporarily shift to mostly virtual courses following COVID-19 surge

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EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – The University of Central Oklahoma will transition to mostly virtual classes in response to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Oklahoma County.

The university will shift to its Level 4 State of Campus Operations starting Monday, Jan. 18 and last until Sunday, Jan. 31, with a plan to reassess and return to Level 2 or 3 on Monday, Feb. 1, according to a UCO news release.

The shift is in keeping with the university’s COVID-19 decision-making framework for campus operations adopted last year.

With the change to Level 4, campus operations will be as follows:

  • Most in-person classes will temporarily shift to synchronous virtual delivery until Feb. 1. Some classes, such as labs, clinicals and fine arts, will meet in person as planned during this time. Faculty will contact students regarding specific arrangements for their classes. Online classes will continue as planned.
  • Campus facilities will remain open, including the library, campus housing, residential dining, Wellness Center and athletics locations.
  • Most campus services will continue to offer in-person options, including enrollment, admissions and financial aid.
  • Administration and staff will follow the direction of their division leadership for working arrangements that reduce density, including telework.
  • Campus mail will not be delivered to offices but may be picked up at the Physical Plant loading dock M-F.
  • Campus events of 25 people or less or those with approval of the division vice president/head or university president may continue as planned with required COVID19 protocols in place. Athletic competition will continue, following Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association guidance, with no spectators.

“The situation will be reassessed prior to Feb. 1 to consider a return to Level 2 or 3, which would allow classes to meet in-person. Please continue to practice mitigation measures, including wearing a face mask, washing hands and social distancing, when around others on and off campus,” the news release states.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 44 additional COVID-19-related deaths and 3,907 new COVID cases on Wednesday.

Officials say there are currently 1,856 people in Oklahoma hospitals with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Oklahoma has had 341,364 COVID-19 cases and 2,848 COVID-related deaths since the pandemic began in March.

Oklahoma County has had the most COVID-19 cases, 66,594 in total so far, and the most COVID-related deaths, 483 in total so far, in Oklahoma, according to OSDH.

“All [UCO students] are encouraged to sign up with the Oklahoma State Department of Health for COVID-19 vaccine distribution through their online portal,” the news release states.

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