COVID Brings Virtual Start To College In Sussex County

·2 min read

SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ — An uptick in COVID cases county and statewide has deferred Sussex County Community College’s in-person classes for the first two weeks.

The college, which has not yet responded to Patch’s request for further comment, made an announcement on its website on Tuesday about the change for the spring semester. The virtual classes are set to begin on Jan. 24, with in-person classes expected to start up again on Feb. 7.

According to the County of Sussex website, as of Wednesday, there were 189 new COVID cases reported countywide, along with six new COVID-attributed deaths, bringing the county's total death toll since the pandemic began in March 2020 to 405. This compares to the Jan. 12 daily total with new 359 new cases and three deaths reported. There was a 1,658 cumulative rise in total new cases between Jan. 12 and Jan. 19, jumping from 30,718 since the pandemic's beginning, to 32,376.

Students will use the college’s online Canvas program for its classes in the semester’s first two weeks.

Once classes reconvene on campus, a mask mandate will be in place for students, faculty and staff for all buildings and classrooms on campus, the announcement read, with security requesting people who are not masked “to leave the area.”

People who don’t have one will be given one, though waivers are allowed for people who cannot safely wear one for various reasons, the school’s COVID plan states.

The college’s plan does not mandate the COVID vaccine but “strongly encourages everyone to get vaccinated,” according to its policy.

Mask-wearing is also recommended outdoors on campus, though not required.

For more about the announcement click here and for the college’s COVID-19 plan, go here.

Centenary University, a four-year, private institution in neighboring Warren County, with a vaccine mandate in place, is another nearby university which has started off the semester virtually, with in-person classes expected to resume on Jan. 24.

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This article originally appeared on the Hopatcong-Sparta Patch

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