The University of Illinois announced Wednesday it will move courses at all of its campuses to online-only starting Thursday, March 11, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The proactive policies are focused squarely on doing our part to help curb the virus,” the university’s press release said. “Fortunately, there have been no confirmed cases among our faculty, staff and students. But such cases have been increasing in Illinois and our experts say early intervention is the best option to limit the spread.”
Courses at the Champaign-Urbana campus will conclude Friday in advance of the scheduled spring break March 14-22. The university said online or “alternative delivery mechanisms” will provide the “social distancing that helps limit transmission of the virus, with a goal of completion by March 23.”
Classes will meet at their scheduled times. Students have the option of studying remotely from home or from their campus residence after spring break. “Students are encouraged to consider staying at their permanent home,” said an email from the chancellor. All campuses will remain open, including residence and dining halls. Faculty and staff will continue their work on campus.
In related developments:
–UI events “with more than 50 attendees that are university-sponsored or hosted by registered student organizations will be suspended indefinitely, effective Friday, March 13,” the release states, noting that events may occur via livestream or other telecommunications. University-sponsored events including events such as “colloquia, seminars, workshops, town hals and registered student organization events.”
— The University of Illinois Athletic Department announced that attendance at all Big Ten and non-conference athletic events on the Illinois campus will be limited to: student-athletes, coaches, event staff, essential team and Conference staff, TV network partners, credentialed media and immediate family members of the participating teams. The policy will remain in effect for at least the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.
It’s unclear how the restrictions would affect Krannert Center for the Performing Arts events.
–All university-sponsored international travel is prohibited, along with non-essential domestic travel until further notice. “Personal international travel is strongly discouraged, and we urge caution and the exercise of good judgment for personal domestic travel,” the UI said.
The university’s moves mirror those of numerous other college campuses, including Ohio State, Michigan, Indiana and Iowa. The NCAA announced Wednesday that its upcoming men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be conducted without fans in the buildings, allowing only essential personnel and families.
The university provided a FAQ list on its website.
Learn more about COVID-19 and how it affects life in Champaign-Urbana