Harvard moves classes online, tells students don’t return after spring break

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Harvard’s Widener Library

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Harvard University has told all students to move out of their dorms by Sunday, is canceling classes on campus and  moving teaching online starting March 23 to try to limit any spread of the new coronavirus on campus.  

“Due to ongoing concerns posed by coronavirus (COVID-19), Harvard College students have been asked to move out of their Houses and First-Year Dorms by Sunday, March 15 in an effort to de-densify our community,” the university announced Tuesday on its website. “All academic courses will continue to be held remotely.” 

University President Lawrence S. Bacow sent the announcement to students in an email Tuesday morning, according to student newspaper The Harvard Crimson. Harvard’s spring break starts Saturday and ends March 22 and its spring term ends in April. The university said no students should return to campus after the break. 

“The decision to move to virtual instruction was not made lightly,” Bacow said in a separate letter posted online Tuesday. “The goal of these changes is to minimize the need to gather in large groups and spend prolonged time in close proximity with each other in spaces such as classrooms, dining halls, and residential buildings.”

A spokesperson for the university wasn’t immediately available for comment. 

The decision comes as COVID-19  has swept across the U.S., infecting at least 755 in the U.S. and killing at least 26 as of Tuesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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