Illinois Colleges Halt In-Person Classes
Officials of Illinois, Southern Illinois, DePaul, Northwestern and Illinois State universities announced Wednesday the suspension of in-person classes due to coronavirus concerns.
Officials are citing an "abundance of caution," but also note that none of the Illinois universities are reporting cases of COVID-19 on their campuses.
In an e-mail to about 90,000 students at its campuses in Chicago, Champaign and Springfield, University of Illinois officials said classes will be remote by the time students return from spring break, which runs Saturday through March 22. The campuses, including dining halls and residences, will remain open.
Illinois State President Larry Dietz extended spring break to March 23 and classes will be conducted online at least through April 12. The university is closing dormitories and other housing immediately and students have been advised to return home.
“I understand that these actions will create serious challenges for students, faculty, staff members, and the greater community that utilizes Illinois State,” Dietz wrote in a message to students and faculty. “But this pandemic has created unprecedented circumstances making these actions prudent and necessary.”
DePaul cancelled winter quarter final exams exams that were to be held this week and next, and postponed or cancelled all university-sponsored events.
Northwestern’s spring break will be extended one week until April 4 and then classes will be conducted remotely for at least three weeks. University officials said they will reassess the situation by April 17 and decide then whether to continue remote teaching or to return to in-person instruction by April 27.
Southern Illinois’ Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses have extended spring break through March 22, after which classes will conducted online.