UMD, CSS Cancel Class Due to Coronavirus Concerns

DULUTH, Minn.– The growing concern of the virus has talk shows, game shows, and even sporting venues going audience free. Here in the Twin Ports, UMD, CSS and UWS are now doing a version of that.

All three are extending spring break and moving classes online when students return.

Colleges and universities in Duluth are taking some unprecedented measures to try to avoid a possible outbreak on campus as the coronavirus rapidly spreads throughout the country.

UMD announced Wednesday its extending spring break until March 18th.  When students return, they won’t be hitting the classrooms and will instead be forced to take classes online until at least April 1.

“Because it gives us a chance to prepare before any increase in the incidents of cases,” said Peter Nalin, Department Head of Family Medicine and Behavioral Health at University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus.

A department head of the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Duluth Campus says his students will go on break at the end of the week. He says the shake-up will be a challenge, but the learning process must go on.

“There’s lots of resources they’re accessing anyway in the context of their in-person courses. We think it’ll be an inconvenience and an adaptation but I think their learning curve will be fast, said Nalin.”

Med students are already used to the option of learning outside the classroom because med school classes are recorded. But some students can’t believe just how big of a deal the coronavirus has become on campus.

We only have a few cases here so just shocked on that really abrupt response. But understanding that they’re trying to do their best to keep everyone safe and healthy and make sure that virus isn’t spreading or infecting all of us,” said Madeline Youakim, a student at University of Minnesota Medical School’s Duluth Campus.

Meanwhile the college of St. Scholastica is extending spring break until March 20. The college will have online classes until at least April 8.

“It will be a matter of what’s prudent and best for our people. That’s always going to be St. Scholastica’s primary concern is the safety and health and well-being of everyone in our learning community,” said Bob Ashenmacher, Executive Director of Communications at CSS.

We also reached out to Lake Superior College in Duluth. No decision has been made yet on any classroom changes.

Check out our story on Wisconsin colleges and universities to find out how they’re adjusting to the Coronavirus.

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