Ohio University's campus on March 10, 2020
Ohio University’s campus on March 10, 2020 [WOUB | Michelle Rotuno-Johnson]

Ohio University Moves to Online-Only Classes, Advises Students to Stay Home

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University is suspending in-person instruction on all campuses and locations until at least March 30 and advises any students who traveled over spring break not to return to campus in an effort to prevent illness.

President Duane Nellis said Tuesday in an email that the university is moving to virtual instruction, effective immediately, and said further information is forthcoming about the logistics of online-only classes.

On Monday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency after confirming three cases of the virus in Cuyahoga County. There have been no more confirmed cases in Ohio as of Tuesday afternoon. DeWine recommended all Ohio universities suspend in-person classes and move to online instruction.

Students are currently on spring break.

“All students who traveled home over spring break are encouraged to stay at home, and those who were traveling over spring break are also asked not to return to campus during this timeframe,” Nellis wrote.

Students are asked not to return to residence halls unless they receive authorization from Housing and Residence Life; if they need to retrieve items from their residence hall, they are also asked to contact or 740-593-4090.

All campuses and locations will remain open at this time. Nellis said the administration is “currently preparing plans for telecommuting opportunities, where appropriate” and that Human Resources will give employees more information “in the coming days.”

OU has also restricted university-sponsored travel for students, faculty, and staff to all countries, according to Nellis’s email.

All planned OU events, with the exception of athletics events, “may either be postponed or moved to alternate formats until March 30, 2020.” Nellis said more information will be coming if there are any changes to Bobcat athletics.

Nellis said in his email that university officials understand “the disruptive nature of these measures but believe it is essential to safeguard the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff while continuing to fulfill our educational mission.”

The university has activated its Critical Incident Response Team, “and is holding daily conference calls, including medical, environmental health and safety, administrative, academic, and emergency management leadership from across the University to ensure a coordinated and timely response to this fluid situation.”

The Ohio Department of Public Health has set up a website with information about the number of cases being tracked, as well as information about protecting yourself and the latest news from state officials: click here.