Christopher Newport University delaying start of spring semester due to rise in COVID-19 cases

Christopher Newport University 2.PNG
Posted at 9:32 PM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 21:32:20-05

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Winter break will be a little longer for students at Christopher Newport University.

In a letter to the Captains community Thursday night, Chief of Staff Adelia Thompson announced the university is delaying the start of the spring 2022 semester due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, noting that the trend is "likely to continue, especially with the growing presence of the omicron variant."

CNU will not be closed.

Classes will now start on Monday, January 10, 2022, instead of Wednesday, January 5 as originally scheduled. University officials will adjust spring break to allow for the shift.

Additionally, students will move back into the dorms the weekend of January 8 instead of New Year's weekend.

Thompson's full letter can be read below:

Dear Colleagues:

I realize we are sending this message only two days before Christmas, but we are making some changes in plans for the start of the new semester - so we want to give you as much warning as possible.

As you know, the COVID case numbers are climbing and with the holiday gatherings ahead, that trend is likely to continue, especially with the growing presence of the omicron variant.

So, to lessen the chance of our bringing the virus back to campus and getting the semester off to a rough start, we will be delaying our return. We will not be closed, and a few previously scheduled meetings and small events will proceed as planned - but we will work differently so that we can allow the virus numbers a chance to wane.

Please note that this is just an initial announcement of our change in plans. It is likely there will be further messages with more details. Again, we wanted to share this change with you quickly, knowing that we have additional questions to answer.

For students and faculty: Classes will begin on Monday, January 10 not Wednesday, January 5 as originally scheduled. We will adjust Spring Break to allow for this shift (stay tuned for specifics on that please). This means students will move back into the residence halls the weekend of January 8 - not New Year’s weekend. That means a number of changes for Kevin Hughes and his Residence Life team, and for Lisa Duncan-Raines and the Student Success staff, so Kevin will be sending a separate email to students with important updates specifically for them. And as is his custom he will forward that message to all of us too - so we will know what our students have been told.

For staff: We will employ the universal telework policy, and for those who cannot work remotely, we will be using alternate work hours and shifting work start times to allow for a rotating, modified staffing schedule for the first week of the New Year. Please talk with your supervisors regarding your schedule and for specific timekeeping instructions. For some colleagues who can telework, working in-office some that week will be important to address gift and application processing from calendar year-end. Simply work with your Vice President and Supervisors to determine the best plan for rotating schedules so that offices can be successful but also de-densified.

Thanks for your patience as we continue to respond to the ever-changing pandemic environment, and work to protect our campus family. Now - go enjoy YOUR families and friends, and may the holidays bring you joy, and the New Year bring you many blessings.
CNU Chief of Staff Adelia Thompson

Click here for full coronavirus coverage.