The University of Kansas is delaying the resumption of in-person classes after spring break to help protect the members of the University community from the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to an email from Chancellor Douglas Girod and Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer.
Online classes will begin Monday, March 23, and professors will begin preparing online content next week. Online classes are anticipated to continue for several weeks, according to the email. However KU officials will evaluate the severity of the outbreak on March 28 to see if continuing remote-learning is necessary.
“We know that some members of the Jayhawk community have been in areas with reported cases [of coronavirus], and we don’t expect to be immune from this virus,” according to the email.
All student housing buildings, dining halls and libraries will remain open, although Girod and Bichelmeyer encouraged those not already back to campus from break to refrain from coming back unless absolutely necessary.
Students who are sick, have a chronic health condition that increases the risk of contracting the coronavirus, or have traveled or been exposed to areas that have had coronavirus outbreaks have been asked not to return to campus.
The Kansan reached out to KU spokesperson Erinn Barcomb-Peterson regarding student access to Watkins Health Services and the Ambler Student Recreation Center but did not receive a response by time of press.
All KU-sponsored events will be limited to 50 people, and all KU-sponsored travel outside of Kansas and Missouri has been suspended, according to the email.
Girod and Bichelmeyer urged all students to continue practicing good hygiene by following the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations to stop the spread of coronavirus. KU officials have created a coronavirus webpage where students can find the latest updates on the resumption of online classes and resources for preventative measures.
“We understand the hardship and confusion this outbreak causes, and we are so appreciative of your flexibility,” the email said. “We’re confident we have the talent, the resources and the heart to rise to this challenge.”
Only one case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Kansas. A woman from Johnson County tested positive with the virus on March 7 and was checked in to the University of Kansas Hospital on March 9.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.