STORRS, Conn. (AP) — The University of Connecticut will move classes online for the first two weeks of the spring 2022 semester amid surging COVID-19 case counts in Connecticut and across the nation, university officials announced.

Classes will still start on Jan. 18, interim UConn president Andrew Agwunobi said in a message to the university community on Thursday, but students will learn remotely and will remain off campus until the weekend of Jan. 29.

University officials will require booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines for eligible students and are discussing the possibility of mandating the shots for faculty and staff, Agwunobi said.

Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new COVID-19 cases in Connecticut has increased by 69%. There were 1,412 new cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks in Connecticut, which ranks ninth in the country for new cases per capita.

The highly contagious omicron variant of the virus has sent case numbers skyrocketing across the U.S., with new COVID-19 infections averaging 300,000 a day nationally.

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