MIT has informed students that classes will be cancelled the week of March 16, and all classes will transition online once spring break is over.
In a letter to the MIT community, President L. Rafael Reif said that “state and federal public health officials advise that to slow a spreading virus like COVID-19, the right time for decisive action is before it is established on our campus.” President Reif said that although risk on campus remains low, the university is stepping up its response to keep its students and faculty safe, along with the community at large.
The university’s measures are fourfold:
“All classes are cancelled for the week of Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20. Because the following week is spring break, this will allow faculty and instructors two weeks to organize a full transition to online instruction.
“Online instruction, which some units are already experimenting with this week, will begin for all classes on Monday, March 30, and continue for the remainder of the semester.
“Undergraduates should not return to campus after spring break. Undergraduates who live in an MIT residence or fraternity, sorority or independent living group (FSILG) must begin packing and departing this Saturday, March 14. We are requiring undergraduates to depart from campus residences no later than noon on Tuesday, March 17. Please see below for details on graduate students.
“Classes will continue this week as we continue to prepare for this transition.”
The lengths to which MIT is going illustrates the danger the coronavirus represents, and the measures companies and organizations are willing to take to help contain it.