Some Colleges Could Cancel In-Person Classes Until 2021

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a handful of universities have already begun planning for the future and are weighing the possibility of closing all in-person classes until 2021. Boston University is one school that has announced its “Recovery Plan” which includes a contingency plan of keeping campus closed until next year.

Boston University has already announced it has canceled “all in-person classes and other academic activities” for the 2020 semester and there is no guarantee the Fall semester will be any different.

“The Recovery Plan recognizes that if, in the unlikely event that public health officials deem it unsafe to open in the fall of 2020, then the University’s contingency plan envisions the need to consider a later in-person return, perhaps in January 2021,” the university said in a statement.

“It also accepts the possibility that international students are likely to face unique burdens, such as travel restrictions and interruptions in the processing of visas, and it suggests that some popular master’s programs may have to be offered remotely. The University does plan to offer remote learning courses this summer and to continue providing the minimal housing and dining services that are currently available.”

Harvard and Oregon State are two other universities that are uncertain when the campuses will open for the Fall semester — if it is even a possibility.

The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).

The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.

While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 26,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.

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