West Virginia University will temporarily suspend in-person classes the week following spring break then offer online class instruction or other alternative learning options beginning March 30 as it continues to monitor the threat of novel coronavirus.
All other online-only classes will continue as originally scheduled.
WVU President Gordon Gee made the announcement in a Tuesday, March 10, letter to the campus community.
“An administrative team, along with local and state health officials, has been working diligently to identify ways to keep our campuses safe, as well as sharing precautionary measures individuals could take,” Gee wrote.
“The university takes seriously its responsibility to protect our campuses during this uncertain time.”
There are currently no reported cases of COVID-19 in West Virginia. However, as students, faculty, and staff depart for WVU’s spring break, the university is concerned about the subsequent return to campus after travel, Gee said, and the decision was made out of an abundance of caution to best protect its campuses and the communities at-large.
“Across our campuses and at WVU Medicine, we're working to be as prepared as possible in case the virus spreads to the Mountain State,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, WVU Health Sciences vice president and executive dean.
“We want to be cautious, and we want to make sure our campus community and our local communities stay safe and healthy. By working together and avoiding panic, we will demonstrate the resilience and grit of West Virginia.”
Students should take essential items with them when they leave for spring break (March 16-20). A checklist, and other information, is available at housing.wvu.edu.
All University-related international and domestic travel is suspended, unless approved, through March 30.
Students, faculty, and staff are asked to use their best judgment for all personal travel.
If they believe they have come into contact with someone who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, they are asked to self-monitor for 14 days.
Those who have traveled on a cruise ship are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The University has created a form to self-report personal travel to help establish practices for a return to campus.
Meanwhile, WVU is working with faculty and Information Technology Services to offer class instruction delivered remotely via online or other alternative learning options beginning March 30.
“Our faculty is committed to providing the best instruction possible, and I’m confident that they will continue to do so under these circumstances,” Provost Maryanne Reed said.
“We are fortunate to have the resources and expertise to provide a high level of instruction remotely, and we will make every effort to ensure that our students don’t get behind in their coursework.”
Operations and events on WVU’s campuses will continue as normal this week. WVU Talent and Culture will share additional information as it becomes available. Information about meeting etiquette and other in-person considerations are available for faculty and staff at coronavirus.wvu.edu.
WVU has established an email account, firstname.lastname@example.org, for those who have questions or concerns.
Additional resources, information and the latest updates may be found at coronavirus.wvu.edu.
University employees and students should also continue to monitor their email inboxes, as well as the website, for updates.