DES MOINES, Iowa — The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing Drake University to go online when it begins its spring semester later this month.

Classes begin on Monday, January 24. Drake University leaders say classes will be held remotely for the first two weeks. Students can return to residence halls but it’s not required.

Drake’s goal is to limit COVID-19 transmission as the virus peaks in Des Moines and to reduce further disruptions to the academic calendar.

According to the CDC, as of Tuesday the positivity rate in Polk County is 29.86% over the last seven days. This is the highest rate the county has seen during the pandemic. The CDC also says that’s an increase of 10.77% in the positivity rate since a week ago.