La Salle University is delivering all instruction remotely this week due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Interim President Tim O’Shaughnessy wrote in an email to the University community on Sunday that classes will proceed virtually from Tuesday, Sept. 7 to Friday Sept. 10 due to a "concentrated increase" in positive cases and concerns about travel during Labor Day weekend. La Salle reported 43 positive cases on Sept. 6, up from four cases during the first week of classes, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The cases are across both vaccinated and unvaccinated students, O'Shaugnessy wrote. As of Sept. 6, 84.7% of La Salle's campus community is fully vaccinated and 5.3% is partially vaccinated.
Office hours, meetings, and other in-person events must be held remotely or rescheduled, according to the email. University leadership and the COVID-19 Response Team are continuing to monitor the situation to determine next steps.
Administrators advised students to get vaccinated, mask up, avoid large gatherings, wash their hands, and stay home if they aren't feeling well to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The University is also requring students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Other universities, including Duke, have introduced stricter COVID-19 restrictions after a spike in positive cases. While Duke did not move classes online, the university suspended indoor dining and bolstered masking requirements.
Penn reported 82 positive cases between Aug. 29 and Sept. 4.
On Aug. 5, nearly 80% of Penn students enrolled in on-campus programs reported being fully vaccinated. Administrators wrote in an email to undergraduates that they expect vaccination rates to increase to 90% by September.
Most COVID-19 infections nationwide are connected to unvaccinated individuals, NBC10 Philadelphia reported. Although vaccinated individuals can contract COVID-19, the positivity rate is much lower and severe illness and hospitalization are far less likely.