Miami students leave for longer break during pandemic, won’t return until late January

The coronavirus is not only impacting lives, but also area college calendars are being rearranged as never before.

Miami University ended its fall semester earlier than normal, with classes done last Friday, Nov. 20, instead of Dec. 7 as in 2019.

Miami’s spring semester is now scheduled to start Jan. 25 rather than last year’s start date of Jan. 13, according to the school’s latest updated calendar.

About 4,000 fewer students than usual lived on the Oxford campus this fall, with thousands of students deciding to take remote classes from their family homes in Ohio, other states and internationally.

At the University of Cincinnati, fall semester classes are ending Dec. 8 instead of Dec. 2. Classes for the winter semester are now scheduled to start Jan. 11 instead of the usual Jan. 13, but the school’s spring break has been cancelled for 2021.

County and state health officials will be watching closely to see if the Butler County spikes in the number of coronavirus cases in past weeks and months show a corresponding drop soon since many Miami students have now departed, except for those continuing to live off campus.

Miami had been previously shown to be a coronavirus hotspot in the county, though in recent weeks the school’s number of students testing positive had dropped significantly.

Miami officials issued a statement for departing students and faculty cautioning them to remain vigilant in all their personal preventative measures in avoiding contracting and spreading the virus.

“It’s more important than ever before to not let our guard down. We all must continue to do our part to mitigate the spread of the virus,” said officials.

And they stressed the greater likelihood of a quicker return to normal college life at Miami – and its regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown – if all students and faculty exercise caution while away on break.

“Complying with basic safety practices has another benefit. It’s also the best way to ensure a timely return to in-person classes, sports, social and academic activities, as well as other events and jobs that are an important part of your college experience,” said officials.

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