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Staggered Return to New Semester for China University Students

BEIJING — Many universities in China have decided to stagger the start of the new semester in an effort to minimize the risk of coronavirus transmission.


The University of International Business and Economics in Beijing announced Thursday that it will delay in-person classes for the new semester after the winter break.


According to the announcement, online classes will start on March 1 and continue for about two weeks. Students will stagger their return to campus between March 16 and March 21 and offline classes will resume on March 22.


Renmin University of China and Peking University have also postponed the new semester by one to two weeks.


Classes will start as planned at Tsinghua University, which is expected to welcome some 18,000 return students over three days from Friday. The university has arranged shuttle buses to pick up the students and two mass testings for COVID-19 will be conducted on Feb 27 and March 6.


Similar arrangements have also been made by universities in other parts of the country, with a variety of COVID-19 prevention and control measures.


Wuhan University in Central China’s Hubei province and Anhui Normal University in East China’s Anhui province have staggered the opening dates of the new semester for undergraduate and graduate students in different grades.


Students at Wuhan University are required to register with the university before returning to campus. Students from low-risk areas must present a green health code to apply for permission to get back to school while those from middle-or-high risk areas should stay put until the warning level for COVID-19 drops to low-risk. These students should also have a negative nucleic acid test result within seven days when applying to go back.


The Chinese mainland reported no new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the National Health Commission said Thursday.


No new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases have been reported for three consecutive days since Monday, according to the commission.


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