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OU suspending in-person instruction until March 30: Move, out of precaution on coronavirus, will include Lawrence County campuses

ATHENS — Ohio University announced on Tuesday that it is suspending in-person instruction on all campuses and locations, including Ohio University Southern and the school’s Proctorville Center, through at least Monday, March 30, due to precautions regarding the coronavirus.

Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis said the campuses would be moving toward a virtual instruction environment during the period, which takes place immediately.

“Ohio University has been vigilantly monitoring the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), and we have been providing regular updates to help keep our entire University community safe throughout this rapidly evolving situation,” Nellis said in a statement. “For the past several weeks, I have been working closely with University leaders and subject matter experts to coordinate OHIO’s preparation and response.”

Nellis said that no cases of coronavirus have been reported at any of the school’s campuses or locations and school officials continue to believe the risk of transmission on campuses is low at this time.

“However, as this outbreak is becoming more widespread in the United States – including three cases in the State of Ohio, which has declared a state of emergency – Ohio University is taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of our communities and the public at large,” Nellis said. “To that end, Ohio University is following the guidance of state and local Departments of Public Health and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Nellis said all students who traveled home over spring break are being encouraged to stay at home, and added that those who were traveling over the break were being asked not to return to campus during the suspension.

He said those who live on residence hall on campuses are not to return, unless they request and receive prior authorization from the school’s housing officials. Students who need to access residence halls to retrieve essential items are asked to contact housing officials on their campuses.

Nellis also said university-sponsored travel is suspended during the period and that all planned events in the timeframe, other than athletic events, may be postponed or moved to alternate formats.