JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – With the high number of cases caused by the emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Jackson State University will begin the Spring semester completely virtual.

“I’m glad that we are not doing all virtual classes because the students need to have that face-to-face interaction and we just have to adjust because we have no control over it and all we have to do is make those adjustments to make sure everyone is safe as possible and encourage students and staff to get the vaccine,” said Associate Vice President Dr. Susan Powell.

Beyond encouragement, the university has made the vaccine easily accessible to students and staff.

“We knew we couldn’t make it mandated that the students get their vaccine so we wanted to strongly encourage it. So what we thought we would do was partner with Jackson Hinds to see if we can at least make it available for those students. We make it accessible for them so they can just come right across the street.”

Spring semester students are required to provide proof of a negative PCR test before moving back on campus.

“We informed them really before they left what our requirements were going to be for the to return and now that we’re not having face to face immediately they still have three weeks so they can get their test.”

“I’m just hoping they remain safe, making sure that they are social distancing, they’re wearing their mask, and just getting boosted and vaccinated,” said Financial Aid advisor Terrenell Galtney.

The vaccination is located at One University Place on Dalton Street.

“Now that I’m fully vaccinated it gives me a little more confidence going out. I feel like it’s an added layer of protection.” said D’Marcus Jefferson.

During the Spring semester the vaccination site will open from noon until 4:00 p.m. every Tuesday for anyone wanting to get vaccinated.

Jackson State is also offering to take $500 off students’ cost of housing per semester for those who are vaccinated.