STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) -After President Donald Trump announced that travel to parts of Europe would be suspended for 30 days, local universities announced that they are taking steps to protect students from COVID-19.
Officials with Oklahoma State University announced that students on the Stillwater and Tulsa campuses would be completing their classes online for the two weeks after spring break. The online classes begin March 23 and will last through Friday, April 3.
“While today there remains no known cases directly linking COVID-19 to our Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, it has become evident in the past couple of days that we must do our part at Oklahoma State University to help prevent the spread of this virus by taking prudent steps to protect our campuses. Your safety and well-being must be priority number one,” the notice from OSU read.
All university-related events that were scheduled to occur between March 14 and April 5 have been suspended, with the possible exception of sporting events, which may be subject to spectator restrictions.
On Thursday morning, officials with the University of Oklahoma announced that the school will go ‘all digital’ for two weeks once students return from spring break. As a result, students who usually attend classes in-person will now be completing two weeks of their courses online.
“As a precautionary and protective measure, the University is transitioning all in-person classes on the Norman campus to an online learning environment for the two-week period following Spring Break, beginning Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 3. To be clear, there are currently no cases of COVID-19 at OU. The unambiguous guidance from our public health experts is that this important measure is necessary to protect the health of our community,” the notice read.
Oklahoma City University officials made a similar announcement on Wednesday when they said all classes will be online for at least two weeks once students return from spring break.
“In our efforts to provide a campus environment that is healthy and safe for students, faculty, staff, and guests during the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, Oklahoma City University is replacing in-person classes with online instruction for at least two weeks following Spring Break (from March 23 to April 5). A decision about whether to continue online instruction for a longer period of time will be announced prior to April 5,” the announcement read.
The University of Central Oklahoma announced that it was extending spring break by one week in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The university has decided to extend spring break by one week for students; cancel, postpone or adjust campus events through April 30; suspend university-sponsored travel until further notice; and is encouraging self-reporting of spring break travel for faculty, staff, and students.
For the first time in 11 years, the World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus a pandemic as the virus continues to spread across the globe.
So far, the United States has more than 1,000 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus, and at least 33 people have died.
Officials expect that number to rise significantly due to a major backlog in testing.