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LSU could suspend face-to-face classes if COVID-19 concerns continue to escalate

Posted at 12:42 PM, Mar 07, 2020

LSU officials are considering the possibility of suspending face-to-face instruction amid concerns about the new coronavirus.

According to The Advocate, Matt Lee, Vice Provost for academic programs and support services, sent out a memo Saturday morning advising instructors to "be prepared to deliver courses remotely to the best of their ability."

The university would make the decision to suspend face-to-face instruction if local health concerns warrant that action.

Officials developed an online resource page with tools to help instructors move course materials online.

Lee added that "at the time of this writing, all instructional activities should proceed as planned. However, the situation is extremely fluid and in the interest of protecting the health and wellness of the campus community it may be necessary to temporarily suspend some campus activities, including instruction."

The Office of Academic Affairs is recommending that all instructional faculty visit the resource page and "expeditiously begin planning for the possibility of delivering course content remotely."

There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana, but state and local health officials are being proactive and encouraging residents to take typical health precautions, such as hand washing and covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing.

The memo from Lee comes just a day after LSU and UL Lafayette suspended several study abroad programs to countries with high numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Local churches are taking precautions as well.

Dr. Tina Stefanski with the Department of Health spoke at a press conference in Lafayette on Friday, reassuring the community that the virus had not yet made it to Louisiana. She added that a private lab in the Acadiana area will be opening up private testing and doctors will have the option to test certain individuals.