Paul L. Caron

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Stanford, University Of Washington Cancel In-Person Classes (But Not Athletic Events), Students To Complete Courses And Exams On-Line; Duke Warns It May Be Forced To Do The Same After Spring Break

New York Times, First U.S. Colleges Close Classrooms as Virus Spreads. More Could Follow.:

StanfordUWThe University of Washington is moving to online classes for its 50,000 students. With colleges nationwide about to empty for spring break, students fear they might not be coming back.

The University of Washington said on Friday that it would cancel in-person classes and have students take courses and finals remotely while the Seattle area grapples with a growing coronavirus outbreak, in a move that other colleges around the country are preparing to follow if the virus becomes more widespread.

Over the last few days, a growing number of universities have mobilized emergency planning teams to envision what a shutdown would look like, especially if students bring the virus back with them from spring break, which starts Friday on many campuses.

Already, some students have been warned that they should be prepared to learn online, as many students studying abroad in Europe and Asia have been forced to do.

The level of concern rose on Thursday with the announcement that a junior at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee who had been studying in Italy had tested positive for the virus after his study abroad program was canceled and he returned to his hometown, Chicago. The University of California, Los Angeles, also said three of its students were being tested and self-isolating off campus. ...

Other universities have warned their students to be prepared for similar actions if they become necessary. Duke University sent a campuswide alert on Thursday laying out extensive guidance for students leaving for spring break, advising them to avoid unnecessary travel and stay away from events or venues with a lot of people.

The note said the school was bracing for the possibility that on-campus classes would have to end if a student or teacher got infected, and students could be forced to finish the semester remotely. “We hope this will not be necessary but want to be prepared,” Duke said.

University of Washington Daily, Law Student Directed to Self-isolate on Coronavirus Suspicions:

A first-year law student has been directed to self-isolate by their health care provider out of suspicion they may have the novel coronavirus, according to a message from School of Law dean Mario Barnes.

“The student’s healthcare team reports that according to CDC guidelines, the student currently does not warrant testing,” the email reads. “As a result, we do not know with certainty whether the student has coronavirus.”

Letter From Provost Drell With COVID-19 Updates:

For the final two weeks of the winter quarter, beginning Monday, March 9, classes at Stanford will not meet in person. To the extent feasible, we will be moving classes to online formats in place of in-person instruction. Any winter quarter final exams that were scheduled to be administered in person will need to be administered in take-home format, complying with university rules for such exams. ...

In addition, I want to let you know that we are canceling the in-person Admit Weekend event, for prospective undergraduates who have been or will be offered admission to Stanford, scheduled for the weekend of April 23-26. While we are disappointed to take this step, we believe it is prudent given the continued spread of COVID-19 and changing travel conditions. We will be working, however, to develop replacement programming, and we’re excited by the possibilities for an innovative and compelling virtual experience for our admitted students to the Class of 2024.

For complete TaxProf Blog coverage of the coronavirus, see here.

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