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In response to coronavirus, Emory extending spring break and switching to remote learning

Avondale Estates Business COVID-19 Decatur Kirkwood Metro ATL Tucker

In response to coronavirus, Emory extending spring break and switching to remote learning

Main Quad on Emory University's primary Druid Hills Campus. Photo obtained via Wikimedia Commons
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Atlanta, GA – Emory University plans to extend its spring break and move all classes to remote learning for the rest of the semester in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Provost Jan Love announced the news on Wednesday, March 11 around 9 p.m.

“Effective immediately, Emory University will extend spring break for students until Sunday, March 22, 2020, and transition to remote learning for graduate and undergraduate classes on Monday, March 23, 2020,” Love wrote. “Residential learning will be suspended for the remainder of the semester while the university remains open.”

Here’s Love’s full email to the Emory students and staff:

Dear Emory Community,

Like many of you, we have been following the developments of the coronavirus (COVID-19) very closely. We recognize the tremendous anxiety our community is feeling. In recent communications, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization have emphasized the importance of taking active measures to contain the spread of the virus in communities and mitigate the risk to vulnerable populations. As a world leader in public health and the metro region’s largest employer, Emory has a special responsibility to heed this guidance.

Schools and units across the university have been working to respond to the challenges that are emerging around COVID-19. We are working on a daily basis to ensure that Emory is well-prepared for situations that could impact us directly while delivering on the promise to protect the health and safety of our entire community, which is paramount. We write today to provide an update on mid-term changes that will limit the exposure of the coronavirus in our university community. Our approach is informed by our own experts in public health and emergency response and the evolving guidance of the CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Effective immediately, Emory University will extend spring break for students until Sunday, March 22, 2020, and transition to remote learning for graduate and undergraduate classes on Monday, March 23, 2020.

Residential learning will be suspended for the remainder of the semester while the university remains open.

ACADEMIC AND RESIDENTIAL LIFE

We will extend spring break until Sunday, March 22, and transition to remote learning for graduate and undergraduate classes on Monday, March 23. Students who are able should remain at home following the break.

All students residing in Emory residential facilities should collect belongings and move out of their spaces between now and Sunday, March 22 at 5:00 p.m. Residential facilities will close at this time and will remain closed for the spring semester.

Residence Life and Housing Operations will be following up with residential students with specific instructions. Students who may have housing related extenuating circumstances can contact housing@emory.edu for additional assistance.

Students can expect to hear from their faculty about plans for the continuation of their classes. Faculty should expect to hear from their deans’ offices about school and college plans for transitioning to remote learning. The university is developing contingency plans for students and faculty who might need technical assistance and support during and through the transition to remote learning.

EMORY STAFF

Given the altered learning environment, Emory staff should be guided by their unit or school leadership regarding work status and other updates as they become available.

EVENTS

We recommend canceling all gatherings not essential to the academic mission in order to reduce the risk of exposure to and transmission of the virus. This guidance is rapidly evolving, as we work with a panel of subject matter experts to determine the best actions to protect our community. We anticipate releasing additional guidance regarding events in the next 24-48 hours, and staff can expect to receive more information from their supervisors concerning work status, telecommuting options, timing, and other updates as they become available.

TRAVEL

Emory continues the indefinite suspension of all official and previously authorized travel for students, faculty and staff to China, Iran, Italy and South Korea. Given the dynamic nature of the outbreak, we strongly recommend that all Emory faculty, students, and staff reconsider domestic and international travel, especially for senior members of the community and individuals at increased risk for severe illness. We anticipate releasing additional guidance related to travel restriction in the next 24-48 hours.

The decision to transition to remote learning, limit events, and offer telecommuting options is consistent with CDC guidelines to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and reflect similar actions from peer institutions. We carefully considered all options to ensure that our entire community can feel safe in these uncertain times. We appreciate your flexibility, patience, and commitment to our community as we navigate the path forward together.  While we do not have all of the answers to the very many questions that will naturally follow from our decision to take these measures to protect our community and those in the greater Atlanta region, we pledge to keep you informed as the path forward becomes clear. Please watch for future communications and expect that regular updates will appear on the university’s dedicated website: Coronavirus Updates for the Emory Community.

Sincerely,

Jan Love, PhD

Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Christopher L. Augostini

Executive Vice President for Business and Administration, Chief Financial Officer

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