La Salle University is temporarily about distance learning in the midst of COVID-19 outbreaks

La Salle University students are not attending personal classes this week.

The educational institution is temporarily switching to online-only teaching for the next several days due to a recent increase in COVID-19 infections on campus.

The school said it has experienced “a concentrated increase in positive cases” in recent days, which is “almost exclusively” among its student body. A total of 42 of the 43 confirmed cases on campus are among students, according to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard.

COVID-19 infections have been detected among vaccinated and non-vaccinated community members living both on and off campus, the school said.

The university also cited the expected large amount of travel among students over the weekend on Labor Day for its decision to focus on distance learning this week.

“I know you will agree that this is not an ideal start to our semester and it is a very difficult decision to make,” La Salle’s interim president Tim O’Shaughnessy said. “However, we believe this is the right approach. Your health and safety were the most important factor we considered.”

The decision to temporarily switch to virtual teaching this week comes just days after the 2021-22 academic year began on La Salle’s campus in the Olney section of North Philly. The university has planned full-time personal training this school year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To make this a reality, La Salle has demanded that all students, faculties and staff be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Students, faculty and staff had to provide proof of vaccination or submit an exemption request in early August.

Nearly 85% of the campus community is fully vaccinated, while more than 5% are partially vaccinated, according to the school’s COVID-19 dashboard. Just over 5% of students, faculties and staff have been exempted from the requirement. Only 4% have not yet reported their COVID-19 vaccination status to the school.

All students, faculties and staff – regardless of one’s vaccination status – have been required to wear masks while inside campus buildings.

Philadelphia requires that all college students and employees in the city be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 15th. Exceptions are only allowed for medical or religious reasons.

Philly re-implemented his mandate for indoor mask for public settings last month. Businesses and public indoor spaces that can verify that everyone, including staff and customers, are fully vaccinated are exempt from the requirement.

La Salle’s decision to temporarily stop personal learning comes as the highly contagious delta variant continues to spread across the city, leading to increasing COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Philadelphia is currently averaging 304 new COVID-19 infections a day over the past two weeks, according to city ​​health officials. That number has risen by about 47% over the last month. There are currently 191 COVID-19 admissions in the city, which is almost double the amount that was in early August.

Philly is currently experiencing high levels of COVID-19 transmission according to American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over the past two weeks, 5% of COVID-19 tests in the city have returned positive.

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