Princeton University classes will all go online after spring break as a response to the spread of the coronavirus, officials said.
The announcement came less than 24 hours after New Jersey announced its sixth case of the virus, with the number of confirmed cases expected to grow, as the university aims to limit large congregations of people on campus by way of "social distancing."
"Though we recognize that a personal, 'high touch' educational environment is one of Princeton’s great strengths, we also recognize that these are extraordinary times that require exceptional measures to deal with a health risk that affects us all," university President Christopher Eisgruber said in a letter to students and staff.
The remote classes will begin on March 23, when students were scheduled to come back from spring break, until April 5 – where the policies will be reassessed depending on the scale of the outbreak at that time, Eisgruber said.
University students also were encouraged to stay home after spring break and were assured that they will still be able to meet their academic requirements if they choose to do so, he said.
International students comprised 25% of the total student enrollment at Princeton in the 2018-2019 academic year and nearly half of the graduate program, according to university data.
Campus life activities and groups that require physical presence will continue but will be "subject to appropriate restrictions," the letter said.
"We understand that these and other measures will cause significant disruption and inconvenience to the campus community," Eisgruber said. "But we strongly believe that actions taken now will have the greatest chance of decreasing risk and that the potential consequences of not acting could far outweigh these short-term disruptions."
The state total of presumptive confirmed coronavirus cases rose to six on Sunday, with 27 others awaiting test results. The growing number of "presumed positive" cases in New Jersey came as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in that state, which has more than 100 confirmed cases.
Date Posted: Monday, March 9th, 2020 , Total Page Views: 555
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