With COVID-19 cases surging, Piedmont Virginia Community College will switch to virtual classes for the first two weeks of the spring semester.
The spring semester begins Jan. 10 and in-person classes will resume Jan. 24, the college announced Wednesday. PVCC president Frank Friedman said in the news release that the move was in everyone’s best interest and encouraged students to get vaccination, which is not required.
“The health and safety of our faculty, staff and students is our highest priority,” Friedman said in the release. “We move to two weeks of remote learning because we believe it is in everyone’s best interest. PVCC faculty has considerable experience teaching online and I assure our students that they will receive the high quality education they expect from PVCC.”
PVCC officials reviewed local, state and federal guidance as well as recent data on case numbers before making a final decision.
“The PVCC leadership team made the decision to adjust the approach for the start of the semester to hopefully avoid a large scale outbreak during the current surge in Omicron cases,” officials wrote in the news release.
The Blue Ridge Health District has reported 1,484 new cases in the first five days of this month even as testing events were canceled this week because of the winter weather and related disruptions. The seven-day average of new cases is up to 317. This time last year, the seven-day average was at 102.
PVCC’s campus will remain open and all academic and student support services will be available to students in-person during the online switch, according to the announcement.