Coronavirus: Ohio State cancels in-person classes, restricts travel

COLUMBUS — The Ohio State University announced Monday night that in-person classes are being suspended, effective immediately and through at least March 30, because of the coronavirus/COVID-19outbreak.

In an email sent to faculty, students and staff, Ohio State President Michael Drake, M.D., said, "we are suspending face-to-face instruction in lectures, discussion sections, seminars and other similar classroom settings and moving to virtual instruction."

University officials are evaluating classroom lab sessions and performance classes and will provide specific guidance this week.

University officials said they will reevaluate the guidelines and share updates or modifications as more information becomes available.

Students completing classes virtually may choose to return to their permanent place of residence or return to campus, Drake said in the statement," where appropriate social distancing and enhanced preventative public health and hygiene measures will be actively encouraged."

Students are being encouraged to make the best choice for their personal situations.

The university is also preparing plans for telecommuting opportunities, where appropriate, for faculty and staff during this time, President Drake said. "Managers are expected to be flexible in allowing those employees who are able to do so to work from home," he said.

Ohio State also issued the following travel restrictions, effective immediately and until further notice:

+ All university-sponsored international travel is suspended. This includes new travel as well as any currently booked trips between now and April 20.

+ Previously announced restrictions of university-sponsored travel to China, Italy, Iran and South Korea, which currently are under Level 3 warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, remain in effect through at least April 20.

+ The university will work on an individual basis with students who are currently on university-sponsored international or domestic travel and need assistance with returning early

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