Minnesota State University, Mankato will not hold in-person classes for the remainder of the semester, an action many other colleges and universities around the country have made now that COVID-19 is spreading throughout the nation.
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor Devinder Malhotra and MNSU President Richard Davenport made back-to-back emails to students Thursday informing them that classes will be online for the duration of the spring semester. There is no word yet as to what will become of summer classes and if the fall semester might go a similar route.
“Beginning March 23, all classes will resume and be delivered through online or alternative instruction,” Davenport wrote in his email to students.
Chancellor Malhotra announcing as well that all events with a gathering of 100 or more will be canceled until May.
With many students having traveled out of state and the country for spring break, there was growing concern amongst University administrators as to how to deal with COVID-19 possibly coming to MNSU.
“We have students from 50 states, and I think 90 countries who are now traveling – we don’t even know where they all are. We’re concerned if they come back that there could be issues,” MNSU Provost Matt Cecil said.
Five MNSU students who were in a level three advisory country were able to travel back to the United States where they were screened and tested by government officials.
Davenport, in his letter, encouraged students to not return to campus until classes come back on March 23, stating MNSU has no quarantine area and that students wishing to self-quarantine should do so at an off-campus residence.
COVID-19, more commonly known as the Coronavirus by the general public, has upended the international community and caused the closures of schools and universities around the country. U.S. President Donald Trump has officially designated the virus as a national emergency Friday.
As the country tries to work through the virus, proper hygiene has remained what health officials are saying is the best way to make sure the virus does not spread.
“Please know that we want everyone to succeed and will work with you to make that possible. In the meantime, take precautions, and be safe and healthy. Everyone at Minnesota State University, Mankato stands ready to help you,” Davenport said.
Header photo: A classroom is seen vacant through a window at Saint Raphael Academy in Pawtucket, R.I., as the school remains closed following a confirmed case of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/David Goldman)