The University of North Carolina System has announced all 17 campuses will shift instruction to online-only by the end of next week in response to the evolving Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak across the country.
Duke University in Durham announced similar plans on Tuesday, while universities in Virginia and South Carolina made announcements on Wednesday that students were being asked not to return from their spring breaks or that classes for the remainder of this week had been cancelled.
Statement from the University of North Carolina System:
The UNC System continues to consult with public health officials to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and prepare for the likelihood that the virus will impact our institutions.
Universities provide environments where large numbers of people interact and congregate. Practicing tried and true methods for maintaining good health, and being vigilant without overreacting, will help individuals remain healthy and help minimize the impact of the virus.
All UNC System institutions will remain open and continue to deliver high-quality instruction for our students. At the same time, we are working to maximize flexibility in how we deliver education in order to limit the potential impact of the coronavirus at our institutions. Guidance has just been issued to all UNC System institutions.
All UNC System institutions will transition from in-person instruction to a system of alternative course delivery, where possible and practical, no later than March 20. Alternative course delivery will begin on March 23 and last indefinitely.
Our goal is to return to in-person instruction as soon as reasonably possible. Each institution will communicate the specific details to its students and faculty.
University leadership will determine which classes, such as those with labs, will continue to require in-person instruction and attendance.
Outside events and gatherings of 100 or more people will be cancelled or postponed unless otherwise authorized by a chancellor or provost.
University-sponsored in-state travel to gatherings of 100 or more people is suspended, and all travel outside the state is suspended, unless otherwise authorized by a chancellor or provost.
UNC System institutions are thriving and supportive communities, ready to adapt quickly as circumstances evolve. We remain focused on the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, and the delivery of our core academic mission.