American University announced on Mar. 10 that they will be taking the course of online classes post-spring break due to the spread of the COVID-19 or coronavirus in the DMV area and general spread across the United States.
Effective immediately students are recommended to leave campus and return home if possible or stay home following their spring break. Spring break has been extended to Mar. 17 and online classes are set to start Mar. 18.
American University’s Washington College of Law will also be joining in by starting online classes on Mar. 23 following their spring break the previous week.
There was also another announcement by the university on Mar. 11 stating all study abroad programs through the university have been canceled and students are to return to their permanent address immediately. Students from the study abroad program are not to return to campus.
Students are to return before Mar. 13 since President Trump announced he will be suspending travel between Europe and the U.S. for 30 days effective Friday, March 13 at midnight.
As of Mar. 11 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 a pandemic.
It was then announced on Mar. 12 that students are to be moved out of resident halls by Mar. 23, 2020 at 5 pm, and will finish their semesters from their permanent addresses. American University is working with students financially to help with this transition as much as possible.
Not only has the virus caused colleges in the DMV, such as George Washington University or University fo Maryland, to switch to online courses, but many colleges across the U.S. are switching to online courses as well such as UCLA and Emerson College.
Several colleges are even asking their students to move out for the remainder of the semester, including Harvard and Cornell University, and switch to online courses until the semester ends.
Other than colleges, the virus has made an impact by closing local public schools, causing towns to shut down and even canceling major events like St. Patricks Day parades or even the rest of the NBA season. TV shows that also have spectators are not allowing them now such as Ellen or Wheel of Fortune.
As sad as it is for AU students to not finish their semesters on campus, this may be in their best interest pending the COVID-19 spread. The next steps are to adjust to working from home and using the online classes.