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How area universities, colleges are responding to the coronavirus outbreak

Many have already decided to shift classes to an online format

Virginia Tech among universities stepping up efforts to fight coronavirus
Virginia Tech among universities stepping up efforts to fight coronavirus

ROANOKE, Va. – Many colleges and universities across the country are shifting classes to an online-only format out of precaution for COVID-19.

Below is a breakdown of how the colleges and universities in our region are reacting to the coronavirus:

Averett University: University officials announced they are suspending all in-person instruction after Friday’s classes and moving to online learning through April 1, at which point they will reassess. There will be no classes on March 16 or 17. Online classes start Wednesday, March 18.

Emory and Henry College: The college announced on Wednesday that it would extend spring break until March 29 to allow extra to monitor the situation.

Ferrum College: The college announced Thursday it is transitioning to online learning starting on March 18. Classes will meet as scheduled on Friday, March 13. Classes are canceled on Monday and Tuesday, March 16-17. The college says it plans to resume in-person classes on April 6.

Hollins University: As of March 10, the university is actively monitoring the outbreak and working closely with local and state public health authorities regarding response protocols if required.

James Madison University: The university will continue with online learning for the remainder of the semester. School leaders are postponing commencement ceremonies. All events are canceled on campus through May 15, regardless of size.

Liberty University: The university is transitioning on-campus classes online despite initially holding off. The transition to online learning starts on March 23 when students return from spring break.

Longwood University: A student has a “presumptive positive” coronavirus test result. Starting on Thursday, March 12 and effective through at least Wednesday, March 18, Longwood’s campus events and in-person classes are canceled.

New River Community College: The college is extending spring break by a week. College officer will remain open next week as faculty and staff make preparations for possible additional measures, such as shifting all instruction to online, implementing a hybrid approach or taking other actions for which a need may be determined.

Radford University: The university has extended spring break through March 20. The university said online classes will begin March 23.

Randolph College: Randolph will move to online learning for the remainder of the semester. The commencement ceremony is postponed.

Roanoke College: Beginning Thursday, March 12, in-person classes will be suspended. Classes will be taught online until at least April 3. A student was tested for the coronavirus, the results are still pending.

Southern Virginia University: The university is currently preparing to shift classes from in-person to online.

Sweet Briar College: The college has transitioned to remote learning and all on-campus events have been postponed at this time. Classes will be suspended on March 16 and 17 so that faculty can prepare to shift their teaching. Remote classes will resume on Wednesday, March 18.

University of Lynchburg: The university is strongly urging no travel to locations with Level 3 CDC alerts.

University of Virginia: The university is moving classes online beginning Thursday, March 19. The university plans to reassess its decision after April 5, at the earliest, and periodically after that date.

Virginia Tech: The university announced on Wednesday evening that spring break is being extended and online classes will begin March 23 for the remainder of the spring semester.

Virginia Western Community College: The college plans to limit in-person classes and cancel events to limit the risk of spreading COVID-19. College officials say the majority of its classes will transition to remote/online delivery starting on March 23, following spring break.

Washington & Lee University: The university has no restrictions on domestic travel, but university-sponsored travel to any country with a U.S. State Department Level 4 Travel Advisory or a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice a is prohibited. At this point, all Spring Term Abroad programs are still on schedule as originally planned. Five faculty members, two undergraduate students and one law student who recently returned from Italy have been asked to stay home from work or school for 14 days after leaving Italy.

Wytheville Community College: The college will be closed to students next week (March 16-20) as faculty, staff work to develop plans for possible remote delivery of instruction and ways to continue providing access to student services and resources. Further clarification will be provided next week regarding class delivery after March 20.

About the Author:

Jeff Williamson arrived at WSLS 10 in March 2016.