The start of the spring semester will be delayed and there will be no spring break for Creighton students during the spring semester, said the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, S.J., in an email on Oct. 6.
The semester will begin on Jan. 27 for on-campus undergraduate students, according to the email, and final exams will be May 6-12.
With the fall semester ending before Thanksgiving, this gives students a two- month break between semesters.
“To carefully and cautiously navigate the winter months, we will delay the start of the spring semester by two weeks from its original start date in January,” Hendrickson said. “In order to provide students with the same amount of instruction time, we will forgo spring break and extend the semester by a few days in May.”
Hendrickson said that students will still receive a break for Easter, with no classes on Friday, April 2. The email says classes will resume the following Monday.
Nebraska is facing “the largest surge of cases and hospitalizations we have seen,” according to scientists and physicians at University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine.
Health experts released a letter on Oct. 5 describing the current situation as a “potential perfect storm” with daily counts of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations equal to the peak in May and hospitals in the state more than 85% full.
Douglas County reported 1,232 new cases and a 10.1% positive test rate for the week ending Oct. 10, surpassing the May peak of 1,102 new cases in one week.
The Creighton dashboard reported 31 new cases among students for the week ending Oct. 10 and seven new cases in employees.
About 90 of the 167 quarantine and isolation spaces are being used, leaving about 46% of spaces available.
Tanya Winegard, vice provost for Student Life, said Creighton is actively working to implement indoor dining options and residence hall visitation.
“We obviously need to have indoor dining plans. It’s getting colder,” Winegard said. “And we know the students desire to have inter hall visitation, and we are looking actively to get those plans into implementation.”
She said students should look out for an announcement.
Lucas Novotny, senior director of Housing and Auxiliary Services, said students, especially residential students, have demonstrated “pretty good” compliance with Creighton’s standards.
“Those students should be commended for their efforts,” he said.
He and Isaac Ortega, resident director of Kiewit Hall, said there is always more to be done.
“Just because these restrictions may be lifted at some point, when they are lifted doesn’t mean that we’re in the clear,” Ortega said. “It is just as important for stu- dents to be following the social distance guidelines from the very beginning. If they follow social distancing guidelines, are wearing masks, then we are very confident in being able to keep those.”