Texas College students return for spring semester amid Omicron Spike – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
As students return to class at the University of North Texas at Denton, some are pushing for classes to be moved online as COVID-19 cases rise.
“It would keep people from getting sick,” said Hannah Larson, an UNT official who started a petition calling on the administration to provide a virtual option.
By Tuesday, the petition had garnered more than 2,000 signatures.
UNT senior Garrett Gantt lives with his immunocompromised parents.
“It would take so much pressure and stress away from me,” Gantt said. “I wouldn’t have to worry about bringing something home and infecting my family and what might come of it.”
In a statement released on NBC 5, UNT officials said:
UNT officials have made the decision to continue with the full college experience due to our late start date in January and after carefully considering the impact of full distance learning on all of our students. The teachers were invited to continue teaching in the mode planned for the spring. This includes a mix of in-person, hybrid and online courses. With masks and vaccinations strongly encouraged, and the response we’ve seen from the UNT community at the same time, we believe staying in person is the best way to serve our students. As we did last fall, UNT will accommodate remote learning on a case-by-case basis.
Gantt said some professors are working with him so he can attend classes virtually, but others will have to attend in person.
“I don’t want to put myself at greater risk when it’s not necessary and I don’t think it’s necessary in this case,” Gantt said.
UNT offers free on-campus COVID testing, but masks are not required.
As of January 14, the UNT campus was reporting approximately 100 active COVID cases on its online dashboard.
The University of Texas system, including UT-Arlington and UT-Dallas, resumed classes this week, but classes were moved online for the first three weeks of the semester.
Texas Christian University resumed in-person classes last week.
The private university requires masks on campus.
According to TCU’s online COVID dashboard, the campus has reported more than 500 cases among students and faculty since the start of the month.