American universities move classes online as COVID-19 spreads
LOS ANGELES, March 7 -- Out of a growing concern over the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, some universities in the United States have decided to move classes, lectures and seminars online. Stanford University announced late Friday that it would move classes online for the final two weeks of the winter quarter, and that upcoming exams would be changed to a take-home format. Stanford also considered cancellations or adjustments of large events. "The university is actively monitoring the local and global health situation and is taking precautionary measures in an effort to help limit the spread of infection," officials said in a statement. The University of Washington announced Friday that it was transitioning all instructions online for the next two weeks, keeping more than 50,000 students out of classrooms as the death toll from COVID-19 in that region continued to rise. Seattle University, with about 7,300 students, also said it would move to online classes for the rest of the winter quarter. Northeastern University in Boston will do the same for students on its Seattle campus. The New York-based Yeshiva University has canceled classes on two of its campuses until March 10, after a student tested positive for the virus this week. The University of Southern California said Friday that it would conduct lectures and seminars online rather than in classrooms for three days next week. This move will test the ability to operate remotely if COVID-19 spreads and forces the campus to suspend in-person contact. Lots of universities have warned their communities to increase preventative measures and be prepared for the spread of the virus. The University of California (UC) Office of the President has activated its Emergency Operations Center and is holding frequent conference calls, including medical, environmental health and safety, administrative, and emergency management leadership from across the entire UC system to ensure a coordinated and timely response to this fluid situation.