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Deaconess Nurse Practitioner Dawn Rogers speaks about the public rush on face masks at pharmacies and notes the need for those supplies for the sick.

Evansville Courier & Press

EVANSVILLE, Ind. —  In the wake of the continued spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, which has forced several colleges across the country to close or go to online-only out of precaution, University of Evansville, University of Southern Indiana and Ivy Tech will continue to operate under normal conditions, officials said.

On Tuesday, USI, UE and Ivy Tech officials told the Courier & Press the schools haven’t considered closing, but are closely monitoring the spread of the disease.

More: Deaconess head urges possible coronavirus sufferers in Evansville: Call ahead

Holly Smith, UE senior director of marketing, said the university will be in direct contact with the Indiana State Department of Health and Vanderburgh County Health Department to ensure cautionary steps are taken.

Though no cases of coronavirus have been reported in Evansville, the two universities said they are watching with a close eye after several colleges around the country have modified their schedules or closed altogether.

Indiana University in Bloomington announced they will suspend in-person teaching after classes resume after Spring Break through April 6. And Berea College in Eastern Kentucky announced Tuesday they are asking students to move off-campus by Thursday and will not have instruction through the rest of the semester. Purdue University said beginning March 23, all classes must be conducted online. 

In a statement, USI officials said students and faculty will be informed if a change occurs.

“The University of Southern Indiana is actively monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and communicating with our campus community. At this time, the campus will reopen next week following Spring Break. Should there be any change in status, students, faculty and staff will be notified.”

More: EVSC coronavirus letter urges parents to ‘develop plans’ for possible school closures

If a decision to close the university is made, USI Media Relations Specialist Ben Luttrull said the school will contact students and faculty through email and communicate to community members through USI’s website and social media accounts.

Smith said UE will follow standard protocol if a closure is announced. Similar to snow days, students would likely receive virtual class instruction and course assignments, she said.

Ivy Tech spokeswoman Marsha Jackson said they hadn’t considered canceling at this time but “we are keeping a close eye on the situation, and will make decisions based on information as it becomes available.”

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