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First week of classes to be virtual at Bloomsburg University

Beginning January 24, the school in Columbia County will begin the spring semester online.

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. — Because of the rapidly spreading omicron variant, the first week of classes at Bloomsburg University will be online. Students will come back the following week instead.

"If a student's schedule had them in person, hybrid or online, it will go according to that student's schedule," said Tom McGuire, a Bloomsburg University spokesperson.

McGuire says that decision was made because of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases.

"We figured this was a good way to help mitigate the situation of the variant and provide a chance for us to do a robust testing protocol for our students who will be living on campus."

Bloomsburg University plans to stagger the move-in process. All students living on campus will be required to have a negative COVID test before moving in. The university will test on campus.

Students who test positive will be sent back home to quarantine.

"Once they complete their isolation period at home and get another negative COVID test, then they'll be allowed to complete the move-in process."

McGuire believes students will follow safety protocols after a smooth fall semester.

"They really want to be in person. They really want to be on campus. It completes that educational experience for them, and so they're really working hard to follow all the protocols that we are putting in place."

McGuire says the university will continue to monitor COVID cases in Columbia County and make decisions based on that.

Lock Haven University in Clinton County will be following the same schedule.

Watch more stories about the coronavirus pandemic on WNEP’s YouTube page.