KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Following the recent COVID-19 spike in the Kansas City area, Metropolitan Community College announced Tuesday that many courses in the spring semester will begin in a virtual learning environment.

“Our hope was that the semester would begin with all in-person classes meeting face-to-face on our campuses,” Chancellor Kimberly Beatty told students in a letter sent out Tuesday. “Unfortunately, the rise in COVID case numbers in our area has forced us to revisit that plan.”

Beatty said the decision was made after input from the instructional leaders, conversations with medical experts in the community, reviewing its college infection rates, and consulting with other community college, university, and K-12 leaders in the state and region.

Lecture-based courses in MCC general education disciplines, which were previously scheduled as face-to-face or hybrid for spring, are now being moved temporarily to virtual until Feb. 7.

“All Career and Technical Education courses, performance/studio-based courses in ART, MUSI, and THEA, and science courses containing a lab (including lecture portions of classes attached to a lab) will continue to operate face-to-face.”

Face masks are required in all public indoor spaces on campus and available at designated locations.

“As we now enter the third year of the pandemic, I recognize the level of fatigue, anxiety and frustration many are facing,” Beatty said. “This is a stressful time for everyone.”