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Columbia University canceled classes on Monday and Tuesday, and students will participate in virtual classes from Wednesday through the week after spring break.

Credit: Chase Sutton

Students at many universities across the country departed for spring break last weekend — but some of them won't be returning to their campuses in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

A growing number of universities are mandating that classes shift to online platforms to limit the spread of the virus. Although Penn has not announced whether classes will be held online, administrators have encouraged faculty to prepare by familiarizing themselves with online learning tools. 

Here is how the Ivy League is responding to the coronavirus outbreak.

University of Pennsylvania

The University has sent a series of announcements to the Penn community since January with updates regarding the University's response. 

Most recently, Provost Wendell Pritchett sent an email to the community on Tuesday morning announcing that Penn is suspending all University-related travel and will cancel all large on-campus events until April 17 at the earliest. Pritchett also wrote that Penn is preparing for the possibility of shifting classes online and will send another email update later this week with information regarding the status of classes.

On Monday, Vice Provost for Education Beth Winkelstein sent an email to all teaching faculty advising them to familiarize themselves with online learning tools like Canvas, Panopto, Zoom, and BlueJeans in the event that Penn shifts classes online. She added that classes are currently planned to meet as scheduled after spring break. Since the repercussions for lab and studio courses are unclear, Winkelstein wrote that instructors should develop a plan with their department chairs.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced on Monday that the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is currently treating a Montgomery County, Pa. resident with coronavirus.

Dean of Admissions Eric Furda announced last Friday that next month's Quaker Days and Multicultural Scholars Preview program events will be canceled and replaced with online materials. Quaker Days annually brings newly admitted students to Penn before making their final college decisions.

Fears of racism and quarantine prompted some students to cancel their spring break plans abroad. International travel restrictions and quarantine mandates have left Penn students stuck in Israel and China.

Harvard University

Harvard announced on Tuesday that it will move to remote instruction until further notice. Harvard President Lawrence Bacow wrote in a letter to the Harvard community that classes will be online beginning March 23. Bacow wrote that students are asked not to return to campus after spring break, and non-essential gatherings of over 25 people will be banned.

Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana wrote in an email to Harvard College students this morning that they will be required to move out of their dorms no later than Sunday, March 15, at 5 p.m. 

Additionally, Harvard has banned university-related international travel and is mandating that students arriving to campus from a location with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention level three travel warning for coronavirus must self-isolate for 14 days.

Princeton University

Princeton announced on Monday that classes will be held online beginning March 23 until at least April 5, when they will reassess their coronavirus policies. Princeton is urging students to stay home after spring break. On-campus events with more than 100 people or that use more than one-third of the venue's capacity will be canceled.

Two Princeton staff members are under self-quarantine after possibly being exposed to the virus at an off-campus gathering, Princeton announced on Tuesday.

Columbia University

On Sunday, Columbia President Lee Bollinger announced that classes were canceled on Monday and Tuesday after a member of the Columbia community was quarantined after exposure to the virus. 

The individual tested negative for the virus but remains in quarantine, Bollinger announced on Tuesday. Bollinger wrote that Columbia will begin virtual classes March 11 through the week after spring break, and all campuses will remain open. Columbia's spring break is next week.

Yale University

Yale announced that classes will be held online using Zoom, Canvas, or other online tools from the end of spring break until at least April 5. The University is asking that students remain home after break or leave campus no later than March 15. Yale is mandating that on-campus events held between March 9 and April 15 with more than 100 attendees be canceled, adjusted, or postponed.

Yale is urging students to avoid non-essential travel and is asking all students who do travel to register their trip with the University.

Brown University

Brown's in-person courses are currently expected to continue as scheduled

On Monday, Brown's Vice President for Campus Life Eric Estes and Executive Director of Health and Wellness Vanessa Britto announced that three Brown students are currently being tested for the coronavirus and are in isolation pending their test results.  

Estes and Provost Richard Locke announced Tuesday that University-sponsored domestic travel will be suspended from March 13 through at least May 30. The announcement follows last week's suspension of international travel.

Locke and Estes also announced last week that events with 100 attendees or more must be canceled, postponed, or offered virtually. Admissions tours and information sessions will also be suspended effective tomorrow until at least mid-April. Attendance at athletic events will also be restricted to team members, coaches, essential staff, and three invited guests per team member.

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth has canceled spring term international programs, Provost Joseph Helble announced on March 6. Helble wrote that Dartmouth discourages all international travel, and those who return from travel to a country with a level two or three travel warning will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. 

Domestic travel for athletic events is being curtailed, but domestic travel for academic programs will continue as planned.

Cornell University

Cornell announced Tuesday that the University will shift to online instruction for the remainder of the semester. Cornell Tech and all New York City-based programming will move online beginning March 12, and Cornell's Ithaca campus will shift to remote instruction on April 6. President Martha Pollack wrote Tuesday that all students are being asked to remain home after leaving for spring break.

Cornell has banned University-related international travel for students and is requiring that faculty and staff who travel abroad register their plans with the University. Students, faculty, or staff members who return from travel from an affected country must self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. 

Effective March 9, Cornell is canceling or postponing all on-campus events with more than 100 attendees scheduled through April 15.

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