Many universities in the Washington, D.C. area, including American University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, University of Virginia and the University of Maryland, are switching to online classes in order to avoid a potential spread of the coronavirus.
Georgetown announced on its website that all classroom instruction for all of its schools would be moved to virtual learning environments as of March 16 and it would continue until further notice.
“We strongly encourage undergraduate students to return to their permanent addresses while this virtual learning environment is in place,” the university’s administration said, adding that the school’s campus will remain open for key services and for students who have a compelling reason to be there.
In a statement, American University said that it will move its classes online for three weeks after spring break. However, the university will remain open to continue “critical functions for teaching, research and other services.”
University of Maryland has decided to reduce operations the week of March 23, and move to an online environment starting March 30, according to its website. The practice will last until April 10, at the earliest.
George Washington University also announced that most classes will be held online starting from Monday, March 23, and they will remain online through at least April 5. The university will remain open and all faculty and staff will maintain their regular work schedules.
The University of Virginia’s president James E. Ryan announced that they will move their classes online, beginning Thursday, March 19. There will not be any classes on the campus for the foreseeable future and “quite possibly through the end of the semester.” The university will reassess the situation after April 5 and periodically after that date.
The university’s students who are away on Spring Break are strongly encouraged to return home or to remain home if they are already there, and those on Grounds and in Charlottesville are encouraged to return home by this weekend.