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Drake University will start 2022 spring semester online

Drake's spring semester will start as scheduled on Jan. 24, but the first two weeks of classes will be held remotely.

DES MOINES, Iowa — One private university in central Iowa will start its spring semester online. 

According to a statement, classes at Drake University will start as scheduled on Monday, Jan. 24. However, the first two weeks of classes will be held remotely. 

Residence halls will also reopen as originally scheduled on Jan. 22. Students will be allowed to return to campus during this time, but it is not required. 

So what's bringing the move online? COVID-19

"Our goal with starting the semester with two weeks of virtual learning is to limit the number of COVID-19 transmissions on the Drake campus while community spread of the virus is peaking in the Des Moines area," the statement says. "We also aim to reduce the potential for further disruptions to our academic calendar." 

The school says the health, safety and well-being of students, faculty, staff and visitors remain its top priority. 

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Meanwhile, the Iowa Board of Regents has not released any plans to move students from the state's public universities back online amid rising COVID-19 activity. 

In an email to Local 5, a spokesperson for the board says the board and universities "have been very clear that we support the COVID-19 vaccine and will continue to strongly encourage all our faculty, staff and students to be vaccinated." 

Data as of Jan. 9 from the Iowa Department of Public Health says the state's positivity rate is just under 20% for the last 14 days. As of Jan. 4, the IDPH reports Polk County's rate as 16.7%. 

The Polk County Health Department posted on Facebook that the county's rate as of Monday is 28.38%.  

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