ARCATA, Calif.(KIEM)- Amid a spike in local covid-19 cases, faculty and students will return to Humboldt state university next week to resume in-person classes.
But they would prefer to start the new semester with remote learning just like others in the Cal State system are doing.
The Humboldt State University Chapter of the California Faculty Association at HSU is urging the University to allow professors to return to remote learning if they wish to.
Last year on August 24th, CFA and HSU signed an agreement that no faculty member should be forced to work in conditions that put themselves or their loved ones at risk, especially when there are alternatives.
“The California faculty association has heard a number of concerns from faculty members about starting the semester face to face say Tuesday or Wednesday. There are some faculty members who have partners at home that recently survived cancer and have their immune-suppressed and some faculty members who have very small children who are not able to be immunized, so these are real concerns,” said Loren Cannon, President for HSU Chapter of the California Faculty Association.
In yesterday’s press conference, Public Health Officer Ian Hoffman said they had seen covid cases double and triple every few days.
“Based on the modeling, I think we are still very early in that. It looks like we are probably a few weeks behind than the rest of California, which is looking at peak surge within the next weeks or so sometime in February, we will probably be peaking here in Humboldt County,” said Ian Hoffman, Public Health Officer for Humboldt County Public Health.
Many students expect the first few weeks to be virtually based on an error on the HSU website that informed students that the first two weeks would be online. That error has been corrected and is no longer on the website.
“We are so happy to welcome our students and start having those meaningful conversations in our classes, and the omicron is really really contagious, and we want to make sure that we are keeping safe the vulnerable members of our community and that we are doing what makes sense for Humboldt County,” said Loren Cannon.
HSU does have a mandate for faculty, staff, and students requiring them to be fully vaccinated against covid-19, including a booster shot if eligible if they are on campus.
HSU spokesperson responded, saying they have been working closely with Public Health and have put in place safeguards to mitigate the spread of covid 19 onto their campus.
Face-to-face instruction last year was held for most of the semester, and there were zero cases linked to the classroom settings.
The University stated they will continue to provide testing for campus communities and will be responsive to health concerns.