Last updated on March 12th, 2020 at 02:03 pm
The University of Wisconsin-Madison announced Wednesday it will suspend face-to-face instruction for the spring semester to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The change is effective Monday, March 23, when in-person classes would have resumed following spring break. “Alternate delivery” of classes will begin that day, and continue at least through Friday, April 10, the university said.
The university expects to share a decision in early April on whether in-person instruction will resume for the rest of the semester.
The university is urging students who live in undergraduate residence halls to take essential belongings and academic materials with them on spring break and not return to the dorms until at least April 10.
“We hope that students will return to their permanent residence and complete their coursework remotely,” chancellor Rebecca Blank said in a notice to campus.
For students who are unable to return to their homes, residence halls will remain available to them.
“… but we expect the majority of dorm residents to return home, leaving the residence halls much emptier and making it easier for remaining students to maintain social distance,” Blank said.
The state’s largest university, UW-Madison has about 45,300 students, about 7,800 of whom live in residence halls.
As of Tuesday, there are two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Dane County.
“While there are relatively few confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Dane County, the number of cases nationally continues to grow,” Blank said. “Our health partners tell us that now is the best time to act in ways that slow the spread.”
All university-sponsored travel is also cancelled through at least April 10, along with all campus events of more than 50 people.
UW-Madison faculty and staff will continue their regular work schedules unless otherwise advised.
UW-Milwaukee announced Tuesday it is preparing to move its classes online for the remainder of the semester to contain the spread of coronavirus after an employee of its foundation was tested Monday for the virus. Classes will continue as usual for the remainder of the week but UWM’s scheduled spring break has been extended by an additional week, and will now run from March 15 to 29.