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UM Touts Improving COVID-19 Numbers, Cancels Spring Break

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Miami Herald
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

University of Miami President Julio Frenk says the Coral Gables private school is successfully “slowing the spread” of coronavirus, citing two days in the last week when there were no new cases of COVID-19 reported among students and staff.

That’s despite a requirement that all on-campus students now must be tested at least once every two weeks.

“After a peak of 42 cases following the Labor Day holiday, even with expanded testing, new daily cases are now in the single digits,” Frenk said during a video message Wednesday evening.

“Contact tracing tells us that there has been no transmission of the virus in classrooms thus far,” said Frenk, who is a global public health expert. A spokesperson for the university did not respond to a request for evidence backing up this claim.

Following the lead of other universities around the state, UM is canceling its spring break next year to limit the risk that student travel would lead to a spike in COVID-19 transmission.

Classes for the spring semester will start Jan. 25, one week later than originally planned.

“In lieu of spring break — which would significantly heighten the risk of exposure to COVID-19 — the semester will feature two ‘wellness Wednesdays’ to give students a break from instruction,” Frenk said.

Jessica Bakeman reports on K-12 and higher education for WLRN, south Florida's NPR affiliate. While new to Miami and public radio, Jessica is a seasoned journalist who has covered education policymaking and politics in three state capitals: Jackson, Miss.; Albany, N.Y.; and, most recently, Tallahassee.