University of Arkansas in-person classes to continue after Thanksgiving break


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The University of Arkansas announced that in-person classes will continue following Thanksgiving break.

Chancellor Joe Steinmetz said in an email Thursday that the decision was made in light of the declining number of positive COVID-19 cases at the university.

“We had been preparing to go completely remote after the Thanksgiving break if needed, but it now appears that we can continue to hold in-person classes safely as we have been doing,” Steinmetz said. “That said, students who have health concerns are encouraged to discuss remote options with their instructor. Otherwise, students, faculty and staff should plan to stay the present course.”

The university reported 33 active cases Wednesday on its COVID-19 Dashboard.

John Thomas is a spokesperson for the UofA. He said the announcement was made early enough to give students time to plan for the break.

“The last thing we want is for them to still be waiting for a decision a week before Thanksgiving and everyone having to rush back or rush home and really try to figure out those last few weeks of classes,” Thomas said.

Thomas said administrators don’t plan to implement additional measures for the first week after students return. Abby Zimmardi, a UA student, said she fears this could be a time when cases spike considering travel will play a part in possible dissemination.

“There’s just a lot of uncertainty, I think,” Zimmardi said. “They could be traveling by car, train. Some people will just go home and stay there, but others might not.”

Noting the 33 active cases, Zimmardi said she thinks the UA administration’s plan is working thus far.

“I would say it’s a success, I think,” Zimmardi said. “I don’t think anything’s gone terribly wrong.”

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