University of Washington moves all classes to online

Mary Knox Merrill | The Christian Science Monitor | Getty Images

The University of Washington is moving all of its in-person classes and exams to online, starting Monday, as the state deals with a large uptick in COVID-19 cases. It’s the first U.S. public university to do so because of the outbreak.

The university, which has nearly 46,000 students at its sprawling Seattle campus plus more than 10,000 students total at campuses in Tacoma and Bothell, plans to resume in-person classes on March 30. 

“With the continued spread of COVID-19 in the region, and in consultation with public health officials regarding social distancing, I write today to announce actions the University of Washington is taking to increase precautionary health measures and ensure the successful conclusion of the quarter for UW students on all of our campuses,” University President Ana Mari Cauce said in an email to students Friday. 

Campus services will remain open, including dining services, resident halls and recreation facilities, according to the memo. Athletic events will proceed as scheduled, it said. Students should coordinate with their professors to discuss final exams, as the school quarter ends March 20. 

Washington state has seen a sharp increase in confirmed coronavirus cases over the past two weeks. As of Friday, the state has confirmed 75 cases and 13 deaths. 

“The novel coronavirus is not the first challenge this region, or our University, has faced,” Cauce said. “It will not be the last. In its 158-year history, the UW has endured two world wars, a depression and other crises that have tested our resilience and our compassion. Generation after generation of Huskies have risen to the challenge, working together to support each other through difficult times.”

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