Harvard University, in response to the coronavirus, is shifting all its classes to online as of March 23 and is urging all its students to stay away from campus after spring break ends March 22.
Spring break begins Saturday. Other colleges and universities around the country have taken similar steps.
“We will begin transitioning to virtual instruction for graduate and undergraduate classes. Our goal is to have this transition complete by [March 23,] the first day of scheduled classes following spring recess,” President Lawrence Bacow wrote in a statement to the Harvard community.
“Students are asked not to return to campus after spring recess and to meet academic requirements remotely until further notice. Students who need to remain on campus will also receive instruction remotely and must prepare for severely limited on-campus activities and interactions.”
The university is limiting non-essential gatherings to 25 people.
“The decision to move to virtual instruction was not made lightly,” Bacow said. “The goal of these changes is to minimize the need to gather in large groups and spend prolonged time in close proximity with each other in spaces such as classrooms, dining halls, and residential buildings.”
The campus will stay open, “with appropriate measures to protect the health of the community,” the president said.
More than 116,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, and more than 4,000 of them have died.
Among other schools shifting to internet-only classes are the University of Washington, Stanford University, Columbia University and Princeton University.
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