by MAX BROWN
Beginning on March 23rd and ending on April 3rd, Drake classes will be delivered remotely in a temporary measure meant to minimize the spread of the novel COVID-19 virus, commonly known as coronavirus. During this time all classes will be delivered in an online format. The news was announced via email by Provost Sue Mattison this morning, and came just one day after Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, canceled in-person classes for the remainder of the academic year in response to reports of the virus in Johnson County.
Campus will remain open during the two week period and faculty and staff will continue to work as normal. The residence halls will reopen during this time, but students are “strongly encouraged” to remain at home during the period. Students wishing to return to the residence halls must notify residence life by Monday March 16th, and students traveling to high-risk areas during the break may be asked to quarantine themselves upon return to Des Moines.
Students with experiential learning obligations such as internships are expected to report to their job sites as usual unless specifically told not to. Dining services will remain open during the period.
As large gatherings pose a risk of spreading the virus, many campus events falling between March 14th and April 5th have been cancelled. At this time, events occurring after April 5th, such as Relays and Commencement, are scheduled to occur as normal. The school is working with public health officials in order to “make the most prudent decisions” regarding the outbreak.
Nationwide many schools are permanently or temporarily suspending classes as the coronavirus situation develops. Earlier this month Drake suspended all university sponsored travel to China, South Korea, Italy and Iran, all countries with large coronavirus outbreaks, in accordance with advisories and warnings issued by the Department of State and CDC.