Large universities suspend in-person teaching amid COVID-19 outbreak

Temple told students and faculty to prepare for the possibility of moving courses online Monday.

Temple University and other Philadelphia universities continue to host in-person classes as colleges across the United States shift their classes online in response to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Duke University, Ohio State University, University of California, Los Angeles and Harvard University are among the latest schools to announce the suspension of in-person classes, CNN reported.

Villanova University announced it would suspend in-person classes until at least April 3 today. Rutgers University and West Chester University have also moved to online classes, The Temple News reported, along with Millersville University, LancasterOnline reported. Penn State University also announced today that classes will be held online until April 6.

Temple told its faculty and students to prepare for the possibility of moving classes online Monday, The Temple News reported. The University of Pennsylvania is also considering the measure, The Daily Pennsylvanian reported.

Referring to the closings of West Chester and Rutgers, Ray Betzner, a spokesperson for Temple University, said “if you watch what is going on around you,” the potential of Temple moving to online classes is “very real.”

“Every college and university is planning right now for exactly this,” Betzner said. “Not planning for it would be irresponsible to our students. Absolutely irresponsible.”

Cancellations have been more common in states that are hardest hit by the virus, like California and New York, CNN reported. Philadelphia reported its first presumptive positive case Tuesday, The Temple News reported, bringing the total to 15 in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Like Temple, many colleges are advising against travel to China, Italy and South Korea, CNN reported. Students, faculty or staff who have traveled to areas where sustained transmission of COVID-19 is occurring have been advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.

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