UD sees decline in COVID-19 cases, some in-person classes begin next week

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The University of Dayton has lowered the COVID-19 status level to Yellow from Red.

In a letter to faculty and staff, UD Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Paul Benson said the seven-day average of COVID-19 cases is trending down, enabling the lowering of the status to Level 3 YELLOW – CAUTION. Planning for in-person learning to begin Wednesday, Sept. 16 is underway. Benson said, “We hope to be able to open up more courses to in-person learning during the week of Sept. 21 if current trends continue.”

Instructors will be informed by the various department chairs which individual courses will meet in person and which will continue remotely. Off-campus students may also attend classes that will be held in-person.

UD President, Dr. Eric Spina said about 770 classes will meet in-person next week, about 1/3 of their total classes offered.

“We’ve seen an amazing turnaround in the last two weeks in terms of students wearing masks and limiting individuals in gatherings,” said Spina. “We never really had any big parties we had to worry about, it was more smaller gatherings.”

Spina said the classes have been designed for social distancing and masks will be required. He added, they have trained all students and staff on cleaning their areas between classes.

“These are labs, studio classes, CAPSTONE classes that really need physical space, and the interaction with the professor,” said Spina. “We anticipate that most of our students will have at least one face to face interaction.”

UD Senior, Samantha Lonsinger said she was glad to see the email announcing the status change but said it did worry her some.

“It was great news but it does make me a little nervous that people might revert back to old practices which might cause another spike,” said Lonsinger.

But both Longsinger and fellow senior, Ashley DeSantis said they had been seeing many more students following the guidelines.

Employees who can effectively work from home are instructed to continue doing so. Student employees may work in-person at their on-campus jobs, if their supervisors determine in-person work can occur with appropriate safety measures in place.

UD President Eric Spina echoed the message in a note to students and added, “It is essential that everyone understands there is no guarantee of continued in-person instruction without continued strict adherence to the safety protocols that led to lower infection rates.”

According to the letter, University leaders will continue to evaluate the COVID-19 case trends, and expect to announce next week if additional classes will move to in-person instruction.

The following enhanced safety measures remain in effect:

  •  All dining options on campus remain grab-and-go with no indoor seating.
    •  No visitors, even from within the University community, are allowed in rooms, suites, or houses

Spina said if the current trend continues, they will roll out more in-person classes the week of Sept. 21.

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