UPDATE: UCCI moves to virtual learning due to COVID, lack of quick-response tests

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***Update, 4pm***

The University College of the Cayman Islands has shut down in-person classes and moved to remote learning for the remainder of the semester, citing COVID-19 cases among students and a lack of quick-response test kits.

“UCCI’s first concern is always for the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. At present, the university does not have an adequate supply of lateral flow tests for the student and staff population. In that light, the decision was made to move to online learning, so that we can do our best to limit community spread at UCCI,” according to an email from the public relations office at UCCI.

Cayman’s government is attempting to maintain in-person learning environments at the country’s preschools, primary schools and secondary schools by providing quick-response COVID tests (LFTs) to students and staff who are ‘primary contacts’ of people who test positive for COVID. A 10-day ‘surveillance’ period using LFTs replaces the previous policy of mandatory isolation pending a negative PCR test.

(Read our earlier story on the new COVID testing policy in schools here.)

In the absence of an adequate supply of LFTs, university officials decided to move to virtual classes.

“UCCI instructors are well versed in online learning. Because of the Covid-19 community spread, students were given the choice to attend fall semester courses either in-person or online. Many chose the latter and instructors have been teaching a hybrid of the two. The shift to fully online will be seamless. All classes are still 100% instructor-led and all support services are still operating,” according to UCCI’s email.

The university did not give a timeline for when the campus might be opened again for classes.

“UCCI is eager to have students return to classroom learning as soon as it is safe to do so. The situation will be continually and carefully evaluated and any necessary changes in instruction protocols will be made when it is appropriate to do so,” according to the email.

***Original story***

The University College of the Cayman Islands has ended in-person classes for the semester and has moved to virtual learning, according to a post on the UCCI website.

According to the post, “UCCI has moved to remote teaching and learning for the remainder of the fall semester. Limited in-person student services are available on campus by appointment only. Visit our homepage to book your appointment.”

No reason is given for the campus closure. However, since yesterday messages have been circulating online attributing the switch to virtual learning to COVID-19.

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