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UAFS pivots to remote learning temporarily due to surge of Omicron cases

Remote learning and operations will start today at 5 p.m.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — The University of Arkansas Fort Smith has announced they are switching to remote learning and operations starting at 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. 

UAFS leaders say the continuing climb of cases leads to the decision.

"At this rate of spread, exposure, isolation, and quarantine it is impossible to continue effective in-person delivery of instruction and services on-campus. So last night, I called a weekly review with the COVID-19 Emergency Management Team, which consists of representatives from Student Government Association, Faculty and Staff senates, AAUP, and each academic and administrative unit on campus," said UAFS Chancellor Terisa Riley.

Yesterday, Arkansas reported 12,990 new COVID-19 cases and 18 deaths.

Since the beginning of the year, the state has seen over 79,000 new cases reported and 9,390 people have died due to the virus. So far, over 1.5 million people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.    

The temporary remote instruction will those on campus who have tested positive to recover from infections and those who have been exposed to be released from quarantine to continue classes. Academic deans are working to determine what courses must be taught in person. Students whose courses will continue in person will be notified on Monday, Jan. 17.

Most campus services will also be moving to remote modalities, with the exception of:

  • Housing
  • Dining
  • Security 
  • Maintenance services

These services will remain open to make sure residential students continue having access to safe, secure housing.  

The university plans to return to campus on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. A campus update will be provided on Thursday, Jan. 20 to confirm the return.

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