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Duke’s peer universities mandate boosters, move instruction online to curb COVID-19 spikes

<p>Yale University.</p>

Yale University.

Duke isn’t the first or only university to mandate the COVID-19 booster shot or move online for the first few days of classes due to concerns over recent COVID-19 trends.

In a Monday morning email to the community, Duke announced that all Duke University, Duke University Health System and Private Diagnostic Clinic students and employees will be required to submit proof of receiving the booster “in January or as soon as they are eligible under [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and state guidelines.” This move follows several other universities, some of which are requiring the booster before the spring semester, while others are giving time during the spring to get the shot.

At Yale University, all eligible students must receive booster shots before returning to campus for the spring semester, and faculty and staff have been asked to receive the booster as soon as they become eligible. Students at Yale who are not yet eligible for a booster shot because they’re not far enough out from their original doses may return to campus in the spring but must receive their booster shot within seven days of becoming eligible.

Students, faculty and staff at Brown University must also receive their booster shots by the first day of the spring 2022 semester on Jan. 26 or within 30 days of becoming eligible for the booster.

Members of the Harvard University community will be required to receive booster shots during the spring semester. Those who cannot get a booster before returning for the spring will not be barred from campus, as The Harvard Crimson reported that the university has promised “additional opportunities” for the community to receive boosters once on campus.

All eligible students, faculty and staff at Princeton University and students at Stanford University must receive booster shots by Jan. 31, a move similar to Duke’s requirement of submitting proof of vaccination in January. Those at Boston University must provide documentation of receiving the booster by Feb. 4. At New York University, eligible community members must get the booster by Jan. 18—during the university’s January term—or within seven days of becoming eligible.

The deadline to get the booster shot at Emory University is Jan. 19, eight days after the first day of classes for undergraduate students. Those not eligible by that date must get boosted within two weeks of becoming eligible. Georgetown University will require boosters by Jan. 21, nine days after the first day of classes on Jan. 12.

Campus return plans

Duke announced Wednesday that classes will be held remotely from Jan. 5 to Jan. 8 due to concerns about the spread of the Omicron variant. Other universities have also. switched to an online format for the first part of winter and spring terms.

Harvard will transition to remote operations for the first three weeks of January, the university announced Saturday. The move will not affect undergraduate classes, which are slated to begin in-person Jan. 24, but several graduate and professional programs will begin before the three-week period is up. Only students authorized to remain on campus based on “compelling individual circumstances or immediate need for campus presence during the January term” may do so during the three-week online period.

However, “winter sport student-athletes will train and compete as scheduled through January” at Harvard, per a university athletics spokesperson.

Classes at Stanford will be online for the first two weeks of the winter quarter, which begins Jan. 3. The university “[continues] to expect” students and instructors to be on campus for the winter quarter.

Yale College and Yale's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences delayed the start of the spring 2022 semester from Jan. 18 to Jan. 25 and shortened their spring break from two weeks to one. The first two weeks of classes will be online. Undergraduate students may move back onto campus beginning Jan. 14 and no later than Feb. 4.

Cornell University, Yale and Princeton moved remaining fall 2021 final exams online following on-campus COVID-19 spikes.

Yale will use Jan. 18 through Jan. 21 to administer online make-up exams to students who were unable to complete finals in December following the cancellation of many in-person exams, The Yale Daily News reported.

Editor's note: This story was updated Thursday to reflect that Duke announced classes would be remote from Jan. 5 to Jan. 8. When this story was originally published, Duke had not yet announced any changes to the spring 2022 semester. An additional update was made Thursday to include information about Yale delaying the start of the spring semester and moving courses online for two weeks, a move they announced Wednesday.


Leah Boyd | Editor-in-Chief

Leah Boyd is a Pratt junior and editor-in-chief of The Chronicle's 117th volume.

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