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Michigan State University moves to online classes only due to coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

University says individual linked to campus is being monitored by county health officials

Michigan State University sign
Michigan State University sign (WDIV)

Michigan State University announced Wednesday that is it suspending face-to-face instruction in lectures, seminars and classrooms and moving coursework to virtual -- online -- instruction only due to the state’s coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This is effective 12 p.m. Wednesday, March 11. This suspension of in-person classes will last until April 20, the university said.


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The school first said it learned Tuesday of a probable case linked to the campus, which the Ingham County Health Department is investigating and monitoring. However, the university has changed that part of its statement, explaining the school has learned of “an individual linked to our campus who the Ingham County Health Department is currently investigating and monitoring.”

“During this time period, students doing purely remote work can return to their permanent place of residence, and we strongly encourage this because there are advantages for social distancing,” reads a statement from the school. “But for those not able to go home, we will continue to fully support students in our residence halls and dining facilities."

The campus remains open. The university said it is evaluating large events already scheduled.

“We will provide more information soon and urge everyone to consider the health implications of large gatherings and evaluate the essential nature of the events,” reads a statement from the university. "We will not be scheduling new events with more than 100 individuals in a confined space during for this time period unless there are special circumstances.”

This announcement comes a day after the Michigan governor announced two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. Both cases are in Metro Detroit -- a woman in Oakland County and a man in Wayne County.

Michigan State University, meanwhile, said it had been preparing for pivoting the East Lansing campus to online learning should that decision be required.

As of Tuesday, all university-sponsored international travel is suspended. This includes new travel as well as any currently booked trips between now and April 20, the university announced.

All nonessential MSU-sponsored travel to mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Italy had been suspended earlier.

More: Michigan confirms first 2 cases of coronavirus, both in Metro Detroit

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