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New Orleans universities suspend face-to-face classes amid coronavirus concerns

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Posted at 3:50 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 20:30:09-04

Four New Orleans universities will suspend face-to-face classes for the rest of the spring semester and will conduct all coursework online.

The suspension of face-to-face classes is in an effort to slow the transmission the coronavirus. UNO, Loyola, Tulane, and Dillard Universities all announced on Wednesday the transition to online coursework.

Starting Monday, March 16, UNO will transition all in-person classes to remote instruction until further notice, the university said. UNO will also cancel any University-sponsored events on campus that are expected to exceed 50 attendees.

Nola.com says that UNO campus will remain open and employees are expected to report to work as usual. Students who live in the residence halls may choose to either remain there or return home if it is more convenient to continue their remote learning.

Loyola University also announced on Wednesday afternoon they will transition to online courses Monday, March 16, and face-to-face courses will be suspended for the remainder of the spring semester.

Classes will be canceled on Thursday and Friday to give faculty and students time to prepare; faculty will begin teaching online classes on Monday.

The campus will remain open, but Loyola is discouraging large gatherings and public events in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Tulane President Michael Fitts announced Wednesday afternoon that the university is suspending face-to-face classes and will transition to online classes Monday, March 23, through the remainder of the spring semester.

Friday will be the last day of in-person classes for the semester.

In addition to the online class transition, the university is also suspending all non-essential university-related international and domestic travel.

All faculty and staff are expected to report to work as normal, with the exception of quarantined individuals.

Certain events will also be canceled or postponed immediately.

Read the full release from Tulane's president here.

Dillard University will also transition to online classes starting Monday, March 23, according to a statement from the university.

Faculty and staff will be asked to report to work. Read more from Dillard here.

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"Beginning on Monday, March 16, and until further notice, all in-person classes will be delivered remotely. Instructors will communicate relevant information to their students on how the course will be conducted. Also starting on March 16, all University-sponsored events held on campus with more than 50 attendees will be canceled and prohibited until further notice.

There are currently six presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in New Orleans. While none is connected to our campus—as far as we know—it is imperative that we take decisive action before the outbreak becomes more widespread in our area. Health care officials are adamant that frequent handwashing and “social distancing,” or reducing the probability of contact between people who may be infected, are the best ways to stop the spread of the virus. It is true that COVID-19 has not yet had a significant impact on our campus community. We are implementing these reasonable, science-based safeguards in an effort to prevent that from happening.

In spite of the changes to course delivery, campus will remain open and employees are expected to report to work as usual. Students who live in residence halls may choose to either remain there or return home if it is more convenient to continue their remote learning.

Campus Dining will have modified offerings and hours of operation. The Earl K. Long Library will remain open with adjusted hours. For details on both, visit our COVID-19 FAQ page. A few select campus buildings will close to discourage large communal gatherings. The Cove will close starting on Thursday and the Recreation and Fitness Center will close beginning on Monday.

We continue to accumulate valuable information on the virus as well as all of our previous communications on the University’s COVID-19 web page.

The University of New Orleans has a long history of confronting and overcoming challenges. Through the determination and teamwork of our campus community, I am confident that we will pull closer together and persevere through this uncertain time. Quite simply, it’s the UNO way."

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"In consultation with state and city government, we are going to move to online instruction beginning Monday, March 16th, for the rest of the spring semester. In the last few days, it has become clear that there now exists community spread of COVID-19 in New Orleans.

We will cancel classes tomorrow and Friday to give faculty time to finalize their preparations, and to give students time to pack and move out if they plan to leave. Faculty will begin teaching online on Monday."

Read the full message from Loyola President Tania Tetlow here.