On Jan. 10, Meredith College’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT) announced that classes would start on Jan. 12 remotely and continue online through Jan. 14. The email cited a rise over the weekend in reported COVID-19 cases from Meredith community members as the reason for this change. The ELT stated that this period of virtual classes, along with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday on Jan. 17, will “give [them] more time to monitor cases and new guidance before requiring more people to return to campus for in-person classes.”
Residence halls, Belk Dining Hall, the BeeHive and administrative offices will all remain open under current COVID-19 protocols. In addition to a reminder about this semester’s vaccine requirement, the email stated that they have been instructed by the Wake County Health Department to follow the CDC’s “new definition” of “fully vaccinated” and that the College is “await[ing] additional guidance from the CDC” for how to proceed.
Though Meredith does not have a requirement for booster shots, the email encouraged individuals to get one if they were eligible. Students, faculty and staff can upload information about their booster to Meredith’s COVID-19 portal.
Colleges and universities in North Carolina have varied in their responses to the Omicron variant. While Duke University held classes remotely from Jan. 5-8, NC State began in-person classes on Monday, Jan. 10. NC State implemented a mandatory return-to-campus testing requirement for unvaccinated faculty, students, staff and those living on campus. William Peace University (WPU) will begin classes on Jan. 12 and still plans to be in-person. Similar to NC State, all unvaccinated WPU students are expected to report to their Wellness Center for testing prior to the first day of classes. As of this publishing, Meredith has not put a testing requirement into place.
By Aminah Jenkins, Associate Editor