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UNC Joins Other Schools -- Moving Classes Online Due to Coronavirus

All UNC System schools are joining Duke in canceling on-campus classes because of coronavirus

All UNC System schools are moving their students online and out of the classroom as coronavirus continues to spread. UNC Chapel Hill and NC State said they are extending spring break until March 22 and then will start remote instruction on March 23. By Kevin Keister

In messages Wednesday afternoon, UNC Chapel Hill and N.C. State University said they are extending spring break for students until Sunday, March 22 and then will start online or remote instruction on Monday, March 23.

Both universities encouraged students to stay off campus, but residence and dining halls, libraries and campus health facilities will remain open for those who are still on campus or need to return. 

The move was made to “encourage greater ‘social distancing’ and mitigate the spread of the virus,” according to the letter from UNC-CH Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Provost Robert Blouin. 

UNC-CH staff, academic leaders, and information technology specialists have a website with resources to help faculty and instructors make the switch to online classes.

“There is no set end date to this new arrangement,” the message from Guskiewicz and Blouin said. “We will constantly revisit and reevaluate our policies as the situation around COVID-19 evolves. Our hope is that we, like so many communities, can return to normalcy as soon as possible, but we must plan for digital operations through the remainder of the semester, if necessary.”h

The UNC System also announced Wednesday that all of its institutions — from Charlotte to Boone, Greenville to Wilmington — will “transition from in-person instruction to a system of alternative course delivery, where possible and practical, no later than March 20.” The goal is to “maximize flexibility in how we deliver education in order to limit the potential impact of the coronavirus at our institutions.”

The system said those courses also will begin on Monday, March 23 and last indefinitely, with the goal of returning to in-person instructions as soon as reasonably possible. 

Each institution will communicate the specific details to its students, and faculty and university leadership will decide which classes or labs will remain in-person, according to the system. 

All outdoor events with 100 or more people will be canceled or postponed unless otherwise authorized by a chancellor or provost, the system said. That could include graduation and commencement ceremonies. UNC-CH has canceled all campus events for more than 50 attendees effectively immediately. For NC State, the limit is 100 people.

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