After initially calling for classes to be held online today (March 12) as a test, College of Charleston says it will follow suit of many other universities and move classes online following the upcoming spring break vacation to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
"In consultation with our academic leadership, our emergency management team, other state higher education leaders, the S.C. Governor’s Office and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, I have made the decision to suspend in-person classes the week following spring break and to extend our international travel prohibition through June 30, 2020," Hsu said in a statement today.
All academic instruction will be held online March 23-27. Some larger classes and lab classes were scheduled to continue during Thursday's test, but the suspension after spring break will cover all classes "without exception," Hsu said.
The school's spring break holiday runs March 15-21.
Campus facilities "will remain open and operational" after the break, but events such as performances, guest lectures, and conferences are canceled through March 29, the school says.
"Students are strongly encouraged to return home or stay home during spring break and the e-learning week," Hsu says.
CofC's suspension of classes follows similar moves by the state's only larger colleges, UofSC and Clemson. University of South Carolina extended their spring break, canceling classes altogether March 16-22. Clemson students will also attend classes virtually following their spring break, through at least March 30.
State and federal health officials have confirmed two cases in South Carolina so far, with eight others assumed to be positive, but pending CDC confirmation. Neither CofC, UofSC, nor Clemson have reported any known COVID-19 cases.
Later on Thursday, Charleston School of Law announced it would also extend spring break through March 17, resuming classes remotely on March 18.