Harvard Tells Students to Leave Campus over Coronavirus

Tuesday, March 10, 2020
By Paul Martin

10 Mar 2020

Harvard University announced this week that it is moving classes online in response to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow told students that they should not return to campus when spring break ends on March 23.

According to a letter penned by Harvard President Lawrence Bacow, the Cambridge-based Ivy League institution is shutting down in-person class sessions for the foreseeable future in response to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

In the letter, which was published on Harvard’s website on Tuesday, Bacow said that Harvard would “severely” limit on-campus interactions for the foreseeable future. He announced that courses will continue as scheduled with the aid of virtual classroom technology.

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. All graduate students will transition to remote work wherever possible. Schools will communicate more specific guidance and information, and we encourage everyone to review previous guidance about both international and domestic travel.

Bacow suggested that the decision to shut down Harvard’s classrooms was made after careful consideration of guidance provided by leading health officials. Bacow claimed that the decision was made to prevent unnecessary gatherings where the illness could potentially spread.

The decision to move to virtual instruction was not made lightly. 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. Our actions are consistent with the recommendations of leading health officials on how to limit the spread of COVID-19 and are also consistent with similar decisions made by a number of our peer institutions. The campus will remain open and operations will continue with appropriate measures to protect the health of the community.

Breitbart News reported this week that the University of Washington similarly canceled in-person class sessions. More than 50,000 students at the University of Washington will now attend class remotely for the remainder of their winter quarter.

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