Face-to-face classes cancelled next week as campus takes precaution against Coronavirus


Photo credit: Jeremy Stanton

Justin Kucharski, Editor-in-Chief

Marywood University is cancelling all face-to-face classes for the week of March 16 due to concerns regarding novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to an email sent to students by President Sr. Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D.

The email, sent to students, faculty and staff, said that administrators anticipate resuming face-to-face classes on March 23 but are taking steps to prepare for further delays should they become necessary.

In addition to the cancellation of classes, all athletic and student events scheduled for the week and non-essential university-sponsored travel are being cancelled. Admitted Students Day has been postponed to a later date, yet to be determined. The university also warned that events scheduled to occur beyond next week may be cancelled or postponed as a precaution.

Students will not be allowed access to undergraduate university housing including the Woodlands Residences, Regina Hall, Loughran Hall and Madonna Hall until March 22 at 10 a.m., according to an email from Housing and Residence Life. They also urged students to prepare alternative travel arrangements for those who are scheduled to be transported back to the area in order to avoid being on campus before March 22.

While students are away, a campus-wide deep cleaning will take place with the help of external cleaning service providers. Faculty and staff are expected to report to campus and will undergo special training to help with delivering online courses in the event students are unable to return for a longer period than anticipated.

Although there are currently no confirmed cases of the virus in Lackawanna county, there are reportedly 16 cases in the state of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced the first cases of COVID-19 in the state last week.

Marywood is the latest Pennsylvania school to be affected by the virus. Classes at West Chester University and the University of Pennsylvania will be provided remotely for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. Penn State University will hold all of its classes online until April 3 but can possibly extend to a later date if necessary.

Several local universities are also making similar decisions. King’s College will provide courses remotely from March 19 to April 13 and the University of Scranton will begin to provide remote courses from March 30 to April 9.

Persico said in her email that there is no vaccine for COVID-19 at this point and also urged students to check Marywood’s website frequently due to the situation’s potential to change rapidly. Tips regarding the prevention of contracting the virus can be found at the website of the American Red Cross.

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Twitter: @JKucharskiTWW