LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — With the recent uptick in COVID cases, some colleges and universities in Lancaster County are making spring semester changes to try and keep omicron at bay.

“We thought doing the first two weeks online would be helpful and return in-person regular classes on Monday, January 31st,” said Alan Caniglia, Franklin and Marshall College’s vice president for Strategic Initiatives.

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Today was the first day back for Franklin & Marshall students – back to virtual learning, and very little foot traffic on campus. Officials say this shift is only temporary.

“We’re committed to the model of residential education, in-person learning, close working relationships between students and faculty, and the general residential college experience,” Caniglia said.

F&M is not alone. Elizabethtown college pushed back its spring semester by a week. Thaddeus Stevens is moving general education classes online, similar to what it did last semester, as an additional precaution. While students understand the decision, they don’t all love it.

“Some people need that more hands-on experience whereas some of us can sit behind a computer screen and fill out our stuff and go on with the rest of our day, but otherwise it’s not too bad honestly,” said James Wilkerson, a student at Thaddeus Stevens College.

For now, administrators say the goal is to do what they do best.

“Obviously we want to maintain a safe environment but it is also incumbent upon us to fulfill our mission which is based on that residential model for learning,” Caniglia added.