Carnegie Mellon University delaying start to spring semester to avoid flu season, COVID-19 overlap

Students react after CMU delays start of spring semester due to COVID-19

PITTSBURGH — It’s barely been a few weeks since schools in our area went back to class for the fall, and Carnegie Mellon University is already looking ahead to 2021.

CMU officials announced Thursday they will delay the start of the 2021 spring semester, originally scheduled to begin Jan. 11, to Feb. 1.

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The move is in an effort to reduce the time the campus will be open during flu season, given indications that flu season will now overlap with the coronavirus pandemic, CMU Provost Jim Garrity said in an email to students, parents and employees.

“We currently intend to offer spring semester classes in the hybrid-learning approach similar to the fall semester (i.e., remote only, in-person plus remote and in-person only), which allows flexibility in the way students choose to pursue their CMU education,” Garrity said.

CMU’s decision to rely on a hybrid learning approach again next spring follows recent announcements from Penn State, Purdue and others that they are also planning a variety of options for 2021.

The Trib reported that CMU, which typically houses about 4,000 students on campus, has about a quarter of that number in residence halls this semester due to COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Pennsylvania COVID-19 travel advisory update (9/10/20)