For The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — St. Ambrose University will begin the Spring 2021 semester one week later than originally scheduled, creating an extended winter break that could help “flatten the curve” for local hospital systems as flu season and the ongoing COVID-19 threat potentially collide.
The modified spring semester schedule will start on Monday, Jan. 25, and conclude as originally scheduled on Friday, May 14. The schedule will eliminate spring break and the traditional Easter Monday day off.
The new spring start on Jan. 25, combined with the revised fall schedule, in which the majority of the residence halls close on Nov. 24, will create a 62-day break in the midst of the academic year and amid the challenges caused by the pandemic.
Throughout the spring, St. Ambrose will continue to follow all safety recommendations outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and regional health officials. This includes social distancing in and out of the classrooms and the use of face coverings in any group gatherings. Daily health self-monitoring through an online link again will be required of students and employees. If recommended by health professionals, testing and contact tracing of potentially COVID-19-infected students and employees will follow. The university has a Test Iowa site on campus.
Students and university employees will be asked to continue to adhere to the Bee Safe, Bee Responsible Promise.
“These measures and the willing compliance of the vast majority of students, faculty and staff have so far helped the university continue face-to-face instruction without major issues this fall,” said Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, president of St. Ambrose. “Like everyone, we look forward to the advent and wide distribution of a vaccine for this deadly virus. However, given the need to announce a schedule in time for spring 2021 course registration, and due to the lack of a clear timetable for a vaccine, we must plan for the continuing impact of the virus, and the necessity of preventative behaviors, to be a part of our lives again throughout the spring.”
Residence halls will open at the same capacity as they did this fall. Varsity sports seasons are expected to take place this winter and spring, based on recommendations from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
For additional information go to www.sau.edu/covid19.