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HACC moves classes online for the rest of the year

Harrisburg Area Community College will hold the remainder of its classes online for the rest of the school year.

Hands-on and experiential components of approved programs can still be completed in person. But the rest of HACC's offerings will be virtual through the spring 2021 term.

Jenny Tang talks to HACC President John Sygielski outside her family's restaurant in Red Lion on May 11. HACC/photo

“The safety and well-being of our students and employees continues to be our top priority,” said John J. “Ski” Sygielski, president and CEO of HACC, in a news release.

Officials made the call after reviewing the latest guidelines from the state Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as recommendations from the college's COVID-19 task force and feedback from students and employees.

More:Gettysburg College sending majority of students home as COVID-19 cases rise

As of Sept. 9, nine people had tested positive on campus since March, with a single case at its York campus, according to FAQs on HACC's website.

The task force had reviewed data, including positive cases of COVID-19 in the region over the last six months, and student and employee surveys, said Cynthia Doherty, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at HACC, in a statement last week.

Doherty said classes will continue to operate either remotely through scheduled Zoom sessions or through virtual learning.

The move follows a pattern of extensions of HACC's online offerings starting in March when school shutdowns stemming from outbreaks first occurred. In June, online classes were extended through the fall semester.

HACC is the largest of Pennsylvania's 14 community colleges and serves about 17,000 students on its five campuses. 

More:York College the latest college campus to report COVID-19 cases