Howard University's campus in northwest D.C. (NNPA Newswire)

Howard University will postpone the start of its spring semester, citing the recent surge in coronavirus cases.

The university said it will start in-person classes on Jan. 18 instead of the scheduled Jan. 10 date. Administrative functions will begin on Jan. 3.

Students returning to classes will have to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test four days before arrival, Howard said in a statement Monday.

All faculty, staff and students will be required to receive a COVID-19 booster by Jan. 31 if eligible for a booster, or within 30 days after becoming eligible.

The university’s most recent weekly positivity rate was 19%, the highest number it has seen throughout the pandemic.

“At that rate, we would not have enough beds to quarantine positive students living in the residence halls, if students returned on the originally scheduled start date for the spring semester,” the university’s statement read.

Those in professional programs will receive specific guidance from their schools regarding accreditation and licensure requirements.

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