BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7)— Wednesday, several colleges in Virginia announced they are extending spring break and shifting classes online. Virginia Tech has joined many other universities across the state doing this.
The coronavirus is something the school has been monitoring since the beginning of the year, but based on conversations they’ve been having with the department of health and other organizations, they wanted to help stop the spread of the illness as much as possible.
“It’s been something that we’ve been heavily engaged in conversations and discussions, and today was the right moment to make some of these decisions,” said university spokesman Mark Owczarski.
Spring break will be extended another week and after that, classes will be held online. The university said that extra cushion should help them adapt to the new teaching format.
“We want to be the very best that we can be in terms of citizens of the commonwealth and our nation and we want to make sure we’re doing all that we can for the greater good,” Owczarski said.
But some classes with a lab component aren’t the same online. The university said they’ll handle these situations on a case-by-case basis.
“Anything that we do that impacts a student’s experience, we’re going to work with that individual to try to find alternative ways to do that,” Owczarski said.
We reached out to the school for clarification on how this impacts VTC and the Virginia–Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Owczarski said they will also handle this on a case-by-case basis.
Residence and dining halls are slated to re-open after the extended spring break on March 20 to accommodate students who live on campus. Classes resume March 23.
“We’re making these decisions because we want to make sure we’re doing all that we can as a university to help the broader community, the greater citizens of Virginia, to do all that we can to prevent the further spread of this disease,” Owczarski said.
All events that draw crowds above 100 people have been canceled through April.
The school is asking that people limit travel, even domestically. All summer study abroad programs have been canceled.
For more information from this announcement, click here.
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