The omicron variant of the coronavirus is generally milder than the flu. It is much milder than the delta variant of the coronavirus. There is no chance a typical college student will die from the omicron variant. But colleges and entire university systems are shutting down as the omicron variant spreads. Campus Reform reports:
With the Omicron variant sweeping the country, several universities are at least temporarily moving classes online, delaying the start of classes, or imposing new restrictions. Students at Duke University, Oakland University, Princeton University, and Christopher Newport University will now spend the beginning of the year under new COVID restrictions….[A Duke University email] announced that “[a]ll undergraduate, graduate, and professional school classes will now be remote until Tuesday, January 18 instead of January 10 as earlier announced.”
Marcus Deans, a student at Duke, believes that the restrictions, which include “re-entry and surveillance testing requirements,” are “due to the administration’s flawed framework which considers case count and not actual illness.” … At Oakland University, Winter 2022 classes will be delivered online Jan. 5 to Jan. 18…Princeton University has barred its students from traveling “outside of Mercer County or Plainsboro Township for personal reasons, except in extraordinary circumstances”…Christopher Newport University, a public university in Virginia, has also delayed its return to classes. CNU pushed back the start of classes from Jan. 5 to Jan. 10 and will keep classes virtual through Jan. 21.
Campus Reform also reports that the “nation’s largest public university system,” which has 477,000 students on 23 campuses, is going remote:
As COVID cases in California have been rising with the Omicron variant’s spread, the California State University system has implemented a new set of restrictions for the upcoming spring semester. The CSU system is requiring students and employees to get the COVID-19 booster by Feb. 28 or within “six months after an individual received the final dose of the original vaccination, whichever is later”…CSU Fullerton announced that classes in the first two weeks of the Spring 2022 semester will be remote from Jan. 22 to Feb. 6. The university’s indoor mask mandate extends to at least Jan. 31. Violators may face an array of disciplinary actions for noncompliance including expulsion. San Diego State University has made most of its classes virtual for the first two weeks of the spring semester….Employees and students must also submit proof of a COVID booster shot before Jan. 18. The university has also implemented mandatory masking and compliance with vaccination and testing requirements…Sacramento State is moving most classes to remote learning until Feb. 6 “in an effort to minimize the fear and potential danger as the daily rates spike,” the university’s Jan. 4 statement. The school’s COVID booster deadline is Feb. 28 and those with exemptions will be subject to semi-weekly testing….At California State University, Los Angeles, “temporary remote instruction” will be in effect until Feb. 11. Students without an approved exemption are required to get COVID booster shots before Feb. 28. Indoor masking is also required regardless of vaccination status.
Ending in-person instruction in favor of in-person classes has led to class-action lawsuits by students at some colleges. The students allege that they are being given an inferior education compared to what they paid for, and that this constitutes a breach of contract.