Miami’s spring semester is at risk of becoming fully web-based as COVID-19 cases resurge in Ohio.
The state passed its previous daily record with more than 6,500 active cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday while Governor and Miami alumnus Mike DeWine issued a statewide address to reaffirm safety protocols and warn Ohioans of the consequences of disregarding them.
At 5:30 p.m. Wednesday evening, DeWine made a TV appearance to reissue a mask-wearing order for all public spaces as well as to remind people they are not to gather in groups larger than 10.
DeWine projected the prompt closure of bars, restaurants and fitness centers if the rate of spread increases any further. He said he would revisit the idea of closures in one week.
He also warned that continued high rates of spread this winter will lead to the extended closure of universities at the beginning of the spring semester.
“Unless we dramatically slow the community’s spread of this virus, our higher educational institutions in Ohio may have to remain virtual when school opens in January,” DeWine said.
Some students have completed the entire fall semester remotely and were expecting to come to campus for the first time in January. But this potential state-wide order would move the start of Miami’s spring semester online, keeping students at home and on their computers once again.
Miami has improved at controlling the spread of COVID-19 on campus, having an estimated 50 active cases as of DeWine’s address. But whether the university reopens for the spring will depend on the entire state’s efforts in the next two and a half months.