Is it really safe to go back in a classroom?

Chamarya Roberts. Photo by Roberts

On Wednesday, Florida A&M University President Larry Robinson released the remote learning schedule for the Spring semester. While the country is in the midst of its worst pandemic in history, he has announced that face-to-face instruction will begin on Jan. 19.

In an effort to safeguard the health of our campus community, Florida A&M University (FAMU) will expand the period of remote learning to start the Spring 2021 semester,” Robinson said in the release. Classes will begin on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, as originally planned; however, all instruction will be delivered remotely through Friday, January 15, 2021. In person instruction will begin on Tuesday, January 19 for all spring semester face-to-face, hybrid and Hyflex classes.”

On Tuesday, it was announced that Florida is the third state to surpass one million COVID-19 cases.

In the Tallahassee area, there have been more than 15,000 COVID-19 cases reported. The number of cases in Tallahassee may not compare to other cities in the state, but cases could potentially increase with face-to-face classes.

In the release Robinson said, This additional week of remote classes is designed to give the university more time to test members of the campus community for COVID-19 and help us reduce the potential for community spread of the virus.”

I dont understand how one week of remote classes will help reduce the spread of OOVID-19. Last month the university announced that there would be no spring football or volleyball due to COVID-19 but FAMU will be hosting more face-to-face classes.

The CDC has said the country hasnt seen the worst of the most recent surge following the Thanksgiving holiday. As numbers keep going up daily, there isnt room to be careless. As the FAMUly prepares to go back to classes on campus, we need to be mindful of the necessary precautions to take to minimize exposure to the dreadful COVID-19 virus.

It is strongly recommended to wear a mask when in public places; practice social distancing (stay six feet apart); use hand sanitizer; wash your hands often (wash hands a minimum of 20 seconds).

The release also has a disclaimer for those who would prefer not to take the risk of having face-to-face classes next semester.

A virtual Commencement remains an option,” FAMU said in the release.

This plan is not set in stone.

Robinson said, Stay tuned, there may be additional follow-up communications with specific instructions for students residing in university housing or select academic programs. We look forward to a successful spring semester and thank the FAMU community for working together to provide a safe and healthy environment. Remember, ‘Protect the FAMUly.’”

I know that the university will do what is best for the FAMUly and the community.