Washburn University plans return to traditional campus model

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Washburn University plans to start its fall semester with in-person classes after the Shawnee County Health Department updated its vaccine plan to include university faculty and staff.

“We welcome this news as we prepare to provide a more traditional environment for our students this fall,” said university president Jerry Farley. “We have been able to deliver classes in-person through the spring, but this additional level of protection should allow us to return fully to our traditional campus model.”

University officials said Friday that Washburn University students can expect a more normal fall 2021 semester with university faculty and staff now prioritized for vaccine distribution, the Topeka Capital-Journal <a href=”https://www.cjonline.com/story/news/education/2021/03/05/washburn-university-planning-in-person-fall-semester-2021-covid-vaccine/4601177001/” target=”&mdash;blank”>reported</a>.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the change in vaccination policy. Vaccine distribution has ramped up in recent weeks, and COVID-19 transmission rates and hospitalizations have likewise fallen.

“We continue to encourage everyone on campus to get vaccinated just as soon as it is available to them,” Farley said. “The vaccine is completely voluntary, but we are encouraging it for all faculty and staff who are physically able to take it.

The university will continue to require face masks on campus and social distancing.