BOSTON (WHDH) – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health identified 15 more presumptive positive coronavirus cases in Massachusetts on Thursday, bringing the total in the Bay State to 105 — with 18 confirmed cases.
Here’s a rundown of local colleges and universities that are shutting down as alarming clusters of the virus swell on both coasts of the United States:
Amherst College announced Monday that they will be canceling all in-person classes for the remainder of the spring semester due to coronavirus concerns.
Following spring break, the college will move to remote learning to allow students to complete classwork off campus, despite having no confirmed coronavirus cases, school officials said in a news release.
“The risk of having hundreds of people return from their travels to the campus is too great,” the release read. “The best time to act in ways that slow the spread of the virus is now.
All of the school’s 1,800 students are expected to vacate the campus by March 16.
Only those who have successfully petitioned to stay will be allowed to remain on-site to complete their remote learning.
Harvard University announced Tuesday that it will be transitioning to virtual instruction for graduate and undergraduate classes due to escalating coronavirus concerns.
The Cambridge-based university says it hopes to have the transition completed by Monday, March 23.
“The decision to move to virtual instruction was not made lightly. 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,” school leaders said.
Students have also been told not to return from spring break due to possible health risks to the community.
Those living on campus will be required to move out by Sunday, March 15 at 5 p.m., the school said in an email to students.
Smith College announced Tuesday that it will be transitioning to virtual instruction for graduate and undergraduate classes due to escalating coronavirus concerns.
In-person classes will be offered through March 13 and Spring break will be extended through March 29.
Students must move out of their on-campus housing by March 20 and should not expect to return for the remainder of the Spring semester, the school said in an email to students.
Alternate modes of instruction will begin on March 30 and students should expect to receive more information in the coming days.
“Each and every Smith department and team is working to address the ramifications of COVID-19,” President Kathleen McCartney said.
MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced Tuesday that all classes will be canceled for the week of March 16 through the 20 to allow faculty and instructors adequate time to transition their coursework to online instruction.
The transition to virtual instruction will be complete by March 30 and continue for the remainder of the Spring semester, according to an email that was sent to students.
Undergraduates living on campus will not be allowed to return to campus after 12 p.m. on March 17. Graduate students will not be required to move however, they may be subject to relocation should the need arise.
“Our plan follows directly from state health guidance that universities take steps to reduce the density of the population on campus and increase social distancing,” the email read. “By doing so, we are doing our part to reduce the spread of the disease overall, while directly reducing risk for our own community – for departing students, of course, but equally for those of us who continue to work on campus.”
Classes will continue through March 13.
Babson College announced Tuesday that it will be transitioning to virtual instruction for graduate and undergraduate classes due to escalating coronavirus concerns.
The Wellesley based school will complete the transition by March 13 and continue online for the remainder of the semester.
Students will be required to move out of their on-campus housing by March 21.
Business engagements will continue as planned with certain policies in place to minimize the risk of exposure.
“Please know that these decisions were made with extreme care and with the benefit of guidance from leading health officials. Our goal is to minimize unnecessary exposure to, and spread of, COVID-19,” President Stephen Spinelli wrote in an email to students.
Tufts University announced Tuesday that is will be transitioning to virtual instruction for graduate and undergraduate students beginning on March 25.
School officials have also opted to extend Spring break and to cancel all AS&E classes for March 13 to provide students with the opportunity to pack up their dorm rooms.
All students, with the exception of those who are unable due to extenuating circumstances, will be required to vacate the residence halls by March 16.
The summer session is not currently impacted by this decision.
“As a collegial and community-oriented University, we cherish each other’s company and the face-to-face interactions that make learning, teaching, and working here a privilege. It is in this spirit of caring for each other that I ask each of you to understand the need for these changes and to comply with them,” President Anthony Monaco said.
All university-sponsored travel is prohibited.
Emerson College school officials announced they will be transitioning to online instruction citing the growing number of coronavirus cases diagnosed in and around the city.
The Boston campus will remain open through the remainder of the semester and students will be allowed to stay if they desire.
In-person instruction will continue until March 13 then classes will be put on hiatus for the week of March 16 through the 20 to allow faculty and staff the opportunity to transition their coursework onto an online platform.
Classes will resume remotely on March 23.
President Lee Pelton issued a statement to students reading in part, “I understand that transitioning to online courses will be a significant adjustment. Please know that staff and faculty are committed to ensuring a positive and fulfilling learning experience for the remainder of the semester.”
Wheaton College announced that it is extending spring break and moving all classes online as the number of coronavirus cases continue to climb in Massachusetts.
In a letter to the Wheaton community, President Dennis Hanno said that spring break will be extended through Sunday, March 22, and that classes will move to remote course instruction for the remainder of the spring semester come Monday.
Hanno urged students and staff to continue checking the college’s COVID-19 information page for further guidance.
UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS
The five University of Massachusetts campuses will shift to a virtual mode of instruction beginning Monday, March 16, officials announced Wednesday.
While the majority of the university’s 75,000 students will not be on campus at least through April 3, UMass officials say they will be working closely with state and federal public health experts to determine next steps in the overall effort to protect students, faculty, and staff from the virus.
In a statement, UMass officials said through April 3, UMass classes will be taught remotely using web, video, and teleconferencing tools that in many cases are already being used throughout the UMass system.
“As the month unfolds, UMass officials, in consultation with state and federal public health experts, will further assess the situation and determine the course of action that will best serve the interests of the members of the UMass community,” the statement read. “UMass is committed to maintaining its educational programs throughout this semester and keeping students on track.”
Boston University announced Wednesday that it will be transitioning to online and remote learning in an effort to safeguard against the spread of the coronavirus.
In a letter to the Boston University community, President Robert A. Brown said that in-person classes would no longer be meeting and that students should not return to campus at the conclusion of spring break.
The changes will go into effect on Monday, March 16, and last until April 13, according to Brown.
“Our leadership team has closely monitored the growing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak both internationally and locally,” Brown wrote in the letter. “Our first priority is to ensure the health and well-being of our community, while also making sure that our students are able to complete their courses and advance their progress toward graduation while preparing contingencies to ensure the functioning of our campus operations.”
Brown also said the university will no longer hold non-academic gatherings or meetings. Activities for research with fewer than 10 participants will be permitted.
All domestic and international travel by faculty, staff, and students, supported by funds administered by the university has been suspended.
Northeastern University announced Wednesday that it will be transitioning to online and remote learning at its Boston campus in an effort to safeguard against the spread of the coronavirus.
Beginning Thursday morning, the university will no longer hold in-person classes and learning sessions, President Joseph E. Aoun wrote in a letter to the Northeastern community.
“We arrived at this decision carefully and thoughtfully, not precipitously. We are seeking to preserve the essence of a Northeastern education, including current co-op placements—while also taking prudent steps to reduce the risk of infection within our community,” Aoun wrote.
Aoun noted that Northeastern has no evidence that the coronavirus has infected a member of the university’s community.
Students are not being asked to move out of residence halls at this time. Students may leave if they want but Aoun said that Northeastern is “committed to maintaining continuity of campus life for those who elect to stay.”
Aoun urged all students and staffers to focus on prevention and to take all practical steps to minimize the risk of infection and community transmission.
WENTWORTH INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Wentworth Institute of Technology announced Wednesday that they will be moving to online and remote learning in an effort to safeguard against the spread of the coronavirus.
Spring break will be extended for students and staff through March 18 to allow faculty time to transition their course to an online format, according to a release issued by President Mark A. Thompson.
Students with extenuating circumstances will be allowed to petition to remain on campus however, all residence halls will be closed for the remainder of the semester.
“At this time of public health emergency, we must consider our responsibility to the public first and foremost,” Thompson said.
Students on co-op are urged to be in contact with their supervisors to determine the next course of action.
UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS SYSTEM
All five of the University of Massachusetts schools — Lowell, Boston, Amherst, Dartmouth and Worcester — are shifting to a virtual mode of instruction beginning on March 16, according to a release issued by President Marty Meehan on Wednesday.
The school will be closed to a majority of students until April 3 to allow officials to determine the next steps.
In a statement, Meehan said We regret the disruption that this will cause, but are confident that all parties will agree that the well-being of those who live, work and learn on our campuses must come first.”
School officials will be consulting with state and federal public health experts to determine the best course of action to put into practice beyond April 3.
Suffolk University announced that it is extending spring break by two days and moving all classes online as the number of coronavirus cases continue to climb in Massachusetts.
With the exception of international students who are unable to return home and domestic students with specials circumstances, all students are being asked to vacate their university-sponsored housing.
All those who move out will be eligible for a partial refund.
“I thank our students for their patience and willingness to adapt to changing circumstances in this challenging environment. And I am grateful for the exceptional dedication of our faculty and staff, who are working tirelessly to ensure that teaching and learning at Suffolk University continue uninterrupted,” President Marisa J. Kelly said in an email to students.
Regis College announced Wednesday night that they will be moving to online and remote learning in an effort to safeguard against the spread of the coronavirus.
The transition will be made by March 16, according to an email sent to students. That email said that faculty have been preparing for this scenario and will be providing students with pertinent information shortly.
All large scale gatherings of 50 people or more will be canceled and are strongly discouraged.
At this time, students are not required to vacate their residence halls and the Weston campus remains open and operational.
Boston College school officials announced they will be transitioning to online instruction starting March 19, citing the growing number of coronavirus cases diagnosed in and around the city.
Classes have been canceled until that time and students are required to vacate their residence halls by March 15 at 9 p.m., according to an email sent by President William P. Leahy.
“I realize that these decisions will bring challenges to many at Boston College, particularly members of the Class of 2020. But knowing the abundant spirit, generosity, and commitment of our University community, I am confident that we will resolve any issues we face, and I ask that you join me in praying for those affected throughout the world by COVID-19,” he said.
All other university operations will continue as scheduled.
Brandeis University announced Wednesday night that they will be transitioning all classes online by March 26 in order to protect and support the community’s public health efforts.
The final day of in-class instruction will be on March 20.
Classes of more than 100 students will make the transition by March 16.
The campus will remain open and operational, according to an email sent to students.
BUNKER HILL COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Bunker Hill Community College announced Wednesday night that a presumptive case of the novel coronavirus has been identified on their Chelsea campus, according to a post on the school’s Twitter page.
Both the Charlestown and Chelsea campuses will be closed out of an abundance of caution and all classes on satellite and instructional centers will be canceled until March 16.
According to their website, test results for the individual will be confirmed in 72 hours.
Lesley University announced Thursday night that they will be extending students’ Spring break through March 22 before transitioning to online instruction.
The campus office remains open though residence halls are closed.
This is a developing news story; stay with 7NEWS for updates online and on-air.
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