University of Miami to start next semester remotely amid COVID surge

Sign on the University of Miami campus in Coral Gables, Florida.

The University of Miami will start the spring semester with remote-only classes amid surging cases of COVID-19 in South Florida, school officials said.

Julio Frenk, president of the private university, announced late Wednesday that classes will be conducted remotely when the semester begins on Jan. 18. In-person classes are expected to resume on Jan. 31, Frenk said in an email to students and faculty.

Leaders of Florida’s public university system on Wednesday urged students and workers to wear masks and get booster shots and COVID-19 tests when they return to campus next month.

Everyone on the state's 12 public university campuses should stay vigilant since "it's clear the pandemic is not over," Syd Kitson, chair of the Florida Board of Governors, and Marshall Criser, chancellor of the university system, said Wednesday in an open letter to students, staff and faculty.

RELATED: Florida public university officials urge vaccinations, masks on campus ahead of spring semester

At the University of Miami, staff members who have been on campus during the break should return to on-site work as planned next week, Frenk said in the email.

Students returning to campus must have proof of a negative COVID test, and all residential students will be tested again upon their arrival, Frenk said.

Students living on campus can move into their rooms during the remote learning period, Frenk said.

He said all indoor activities will be postponed until on-campus instruction begins, and indoor masking will continue for the foreseeable future.