K-State moves all classes online due to coronavirus ‘until further notice’

Coronavirus

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas State University has temporarily suspended in-person classes Thursday morning, and is moving them online for the time being to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

All in-person classes will be canceled for the week of March 16, according to K-State President Richard Myers. Beginning March 23, all classes will be taught remotely until further notice. The university is working with faculty to move classes online or teach through “other alternative methods.” Myers advised students to stay at their permanent homes away from campus during this period.

“Right now, the K-State community is dispersed throughout the nation and globe during spring break,” Myers said. “When everyone returns, it could increase the risk of the spread of the novel coronavirus. There are prudent steps we can take to mitigate this risk and protect our campuses and local communities.”

Kansas Department of Health and Environment officials said there have been no cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus confirmed on campus or in the Manhattan area. This is all strictly being done as a precaution to stop the spread of the virus.

K-State officials had already made an effort to limit the spread of the virus through bans on international travel, which included many study-abroad experiences.

This university’s decision comes as a growing number of schools across the U.S. are moving to online classes amid the growing COVID-19 outbreak, and after the NCAA said it would hold men’s and women’s basketball tournament games with only essential staff and limited numbers of family. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic Wednesday.

Read the Kansas State University president’s full letter to faculty and students:

Dear K-State Community:

Currently, much of the K-State community is dispersed throughout the nation and globe during spring break. When everyone returns to campus the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus will increase. With careful planning and guidance from public health officials, there are prudent steps we can take to mitigate this risk and protect our campus and local communities.

The concept of social distancing has been shown to slow a disease outbreak during times of concern with pandemics. This means we reduce the number of times and places that people gather in large numbers or spend extensive time together. By slowing the spread of the disease, medical facilities are better able to handle the demand, which saves lives in the long run.

In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 after spring break, we are taking these immediate steps:

K-State will suspend in-person classes at all campuses the week March 16-20. Online classes will be held as scheduled. During this time students are strongly encouraged to travel home or remain at home and spend the week there, if possible. For those who cannot go home, our campuses will remain open and services will be available such as student health, residence halls and dining halls. The situation may change very rapidly, based on what we’ve seen in other areas.
Beginning March 23, classes will be taught remotely (not in person) until further notice. The suspension of classes March 16-20 provides time for faculty members to prepare to move classes online or to teach through other alternative methods. While completing classes remotely, students are strongly encouraged to remain at their permanent homes away from campus, unless they cannot return home due to travel restrictions, financial burden, or lack of reliable internet access. We are working to accommodate learning that typically takes place in laboratories and other in-person situations. Our success will depend on the creativity and resourcefulness of our students and faculty, in which we have great faith. We will provide at least one week’s notice before in-person classes resume, per Kansas Board of Regents guidance.
Telecommuting may be an option for some employees. We have published initial guidance for relaxed policies and ask unit heads to determine who may be eligible to work off-campus.
Visitors are urged to postpone campus visits during this time. We strongly encourage visitors to reschedule planned trips to our campuses and recommend postponing previously scheduled visits. Please keep in mind that international travelers arriving from CDC-designated Level 3 countries are subject to a 14-day quarantine period.
Veterinary medicine students who are involved in clinical rotations or clinical work will receive further guidance from the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Polytechnic students who are involved in flight training or the maintenance program will receive further guidance from the College of Technology and Aviation.
Large campus community events (more than 100 people) will be handled on a case-by-case basis. We strongly encourage campus units to cancel events with more than 100 persons between now and March 30, please be prepared for the situation to change rapidly. Student events occurring between now and March 30 should be postponed or moved to another format. Athletic events will follow Big 12 guidance.
Travel policies have not changed at this time. All university-sponsored international travel is banned to CDC warning level 3 or U.S. State Department Travel Advisory level 4 countries. There are no mandated restrictions for university-affiliated or sponsored domestic travel at this time, but we ask you to consider the potential risks for you and others and the possibility of trip disruption. As conditions evolve, further restrictions may be added.
These social distancing steps are admittedly inconvenient but have proven to be effective in other locations and will help safeguard the greater good for all. I know each of us will act responsibly to help us protect the entire K-State family and the local communities that are home to our campuses. We can meet this challenge with the strength and resiliency our university has demonstrated for over 150 years.

Please check our website on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) for the latest information. If you have a specific question please email covid19@ksu.edu.

Richard Myers – Kansas State University President

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