St. Thomas, Carleton, Mitchell Hamline move classes online due to COVID-19 concerns
The University of St. Thomas, Carleton College and Mitchell Hamline School of Law all announced Thursday they are moving classes online due to concerns of the COVID-19 outbreak. North Central University also canceled in-person classes for the week of March 16-22.
St. Thomas said in-person classes will be suspended on Monday and will continue until April 14. University-related domestic air travel, as well as overnight travel, has been restricted, and campus events that involving gatherings of 50 people or more have been canceled.
"While the next few weeks will feel unfamiliar, I have the utmost confidence in our faculty and staff to successfully guide our students through this period," President Julie Sullivan said in a statement. "Our Academic Affairs team has been meeting daily to work on the process of transitioning to online learning, and many of our faculty are already well-versed in online teaching."
Carleton said it will limit the number of people on campus and teach "at least the first half of Spring Term 2020 courses remotely, helped by a one-week extension of spring break." The college will now start Spring Term on April 6, giving faculty additional time to prepare for courses, which will be online beginning immediately. The college said it doesn’t expect the change to disrupt any senior’s ability to graduate in June.
Mitchell Hamline said its in-person classes have been suspended through April 3, and students currently on spring break will not return to campus for classes on Monday, those classes will resume remotely on Wednesday. The college said the building will remain open for students to use the library and other facilities, but classes will be online. However, any students who recently traveled to an area affected by the widespread virus outbreak or who feel ill are asked to stay home for 14 days.
North Central said students on spring break this week are encouraged to remain home, but essential student services on campus will remain open.
Multiple other colleges and universities have been taking similar measures, including the University of Minnesota, due to the outbreak.
The U of M also announced Thursday that it is working to bring all students and staff in Europe home after President Donald Trump announced an overseas travel Wednesday night and the U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued travel warnings for Europe.