Coronavirus closes University of Washington classrooms

Students will learn online for the rest of the winter quarter; UW campuses remain open
By: | March 6, 2020
Classrooms at the University of Washington will be closed at least until the beginning of the spring quarter on March 30 in order to increase social distancing and other health precautions. (Courtesy of University of Washington/screen grab from video)Classrooms at the University of Washington will be closed at least until the beginning of the spring quarter on March 30 in order to increase social distancing and other health precautions. (Courtesy of University of Washington/screen grab from video)

The spread of coronavirus in the Seattle-region forced the University of Washington to close all classrooms on its three campuses Friday and shift its 50,000 students to learning online.

Classrooms will be closed at least until the beginning of the spring quarter on March 30 in order to increase social distancing and other health precautions, the university announced on its website.

The institution, however, isn’t completely shutting down

“Our campuses will remain open to serve all those who rely on our services, including hospitals and clinics, dining services, residence halls, and recreation and athletics facilities,” the university said. “Husky athletics events will proceed as scheduled. We plan to resume normal class operations when the spring quarter begins March 30, pending public health guidance.

Also in the region, Lake Washington Institute of Technology, a community college near Seattle, has closed twice this week, once on March 1 after learning students and faculty had visited a nursing home where coronavirus had been confirmed, The Washington Post reported.

After a thorough cleaning and reopening briefly on Wednesday, the campus was closed again through the weekend after a faculty member tested positive for COVID-19, The Post reported.

The college’s president, Amy Morrison, has been updating the campus via video messages.

In New York City, a Yeshiva University student’s positive COVID-19 test forced the closure of two of the institution’s campuses in Manhattan, The Post reported.

Other colleges and universities are extending their warnings into spring break.

Duke University urged students not to travel for spring break and advised them that classes could shift online if a member of the campus community became infected, The New York Times reported.

The University of Chicago, Fordham University and other schools will allow students to remain in their dorms over spring break to avoid the risks of travel. The University of Pennsylvania will keep dining halls open longer for students who want to stay, The Times reported.