Ohio University suspended all in-person instruction until March 30 due to concerns about the recent coronavirus outbreak, known as COVID-19.
OU President Duane Nellis announced in an email Tuesday that face-to-face classes will be moved online to a “virtual instruction environment.”
“We understand the disruptive nature of these measures but believe it is essential to safeguard the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff while continuing to fulfill our educational mission,” he said in an email.
Students who traveled home over spring break are encouraged to stay home and are asked not to return to campus until March 30, according to the email. Students living in residence halls are asked not to return to their dorms unless they receive prior authorization from Housing and Residence Life by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 740-593-4090 for assistance.
All university campuses will remain open until further notice.
All university-sponsored travel is suspended until further notice, and the previously announced restriction to travel to countries currently under a CDC Warning Level 2 and 3 is still ongoing.
All university events, except for athletic events, might either be postponed or moved to alternate formats until March 30. OU will work with the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Midwest Athletic Conference to make decisions regarding athletic events.
This decision is in line with a recommendation made by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine for colleges to move in-person classes online or teach them remotely. DeWine declared a state of emergency in Ohio on Monday after three Cuyahoga County residents were diagnosed with COVID-19.
Ohio State University, Kent State University and Miami University have also temporarily cancelled in-person instruction.
There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, so the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that people wash their hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
The CDC also recommends that people avoid touching their face, avoid close contact with people who are sick, clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and maintain a social distance from others of at least six feet.