Wayne State is moving several campus operations back to a virtual format for the beginning of the winter 2022 semester, President M. Roy Wilson announced in an email to the campus community on Thursday.

The move is due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 omicron variant across the U.S., Wilson said.

At this time, we know that the omicron variant is present in Michigan, that it is highly contagious, and that the number of cases in the Detroit area has already reached an alarming level,” he said. “We also know from the best predictive models that we will see a time-limited but rapid increase in the number of cases in our region over the coming few weeks.”

All in-person classes will be held in a synchronous online format and in-person campus gatherings will be canceled or held virtually.

WSU Athletics will be allowed to continue operating, but fans will not be permitted to attend games in person.

Many campus buildings will remain open with restrictions, including the Student Center, Mort Harris Recreation and Fitness Center, WSU bookstore and campus libraries.

Campus housing and dining will also remain open with restrictions. The guest policy will be restricted to campus residents starting on Sunday.

Wilson said he is confident these steps will help WSU maintain safe campus operations in the spring.

“The omicron variant spreads rapidly, but we are confident that by adhering to the safety measures that have guided us through this pandemic, we can make a quick return to campus,” he said.

Virtual operations will be in place through Jan. 31, 2022. WSU expects to resume in-person operations in February 2022, Wilson said.

WSU is also requiring community members who will be on campus during the winter 2022 semester to get a COVID-19 booster shot when eligible. Proof of vaccination for those eligible must be uploaded online beginning Jan. 3.

Campus community members can get COVID-19 vaccines and boosters at the Campus Health Center by making an appointment online or by calling at 313-577-5105 or 313-577-5041.

Jenna Prestininzi is the editor-in-chief of The South End. She can be reached at editorinchieftse@gmail.com.

Cover photo by Quinn Banks, The South End's multimedia editor. He can be reached at multimediaeditortse@gmail.com.