U.S. universities move to online classes over coronavirus outbreak

Many universities across the U.S. have moved to online classes due to the coronavirus outbreak.

New York University (NYU) on Tuesday sent an email to its students stating that it will conduct a test of remote teaching from March 11 to 13 as a transition from offline in-person instruction to online classes during the epidemic. The spring break from March 14 to 20 will continue as usual. Afterwards, NYU will conduct remote teaching until March 27 and then decide on how to proceed.

Before March 29, NYU's departments are not allowed to hold unnecessary large-scale gatherings, and the university has recommended canceling or postponing these activities, or holding them online. But the laboratories will be open as usual and research activities will continue.

During the epidemic, all school-funded trips to Washington and California are cancelled, and it is strongly recommended that teachers and students on campus cancel overseas lectures and academic conferences.

The move was taken as many universities have moved to remote teaching in place of in-person instruction, including Stanford University, Columbia University, University of Southern California, University of California, Berkeley, Princeton University, Rice University, Vanderbilt University, and Ohio State University.

University of Washington, located in Seattle, Washington, was the first university in the U.S. to suspend in-person classes on March 6, because a university staff member was presumptively tested positive for the coronavirus, who was confirmed on March 7. Over 50,000 of their students will continue their studies remotely from March 9 to 20 when the winter semester is concluded.

The epidemic of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is escalating in the U.S. with 1,001 confirmed cases and 28 deaths as of March 10, according to the real-time statistics released by Johns Hopkins University. Washington, New York and California are now the top three most hard-hit states in the country.

(Cover image: New York University. /VCG)