DePaul classes will be held remotely during Spring Quarter because of coronavirus concerns


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.

President A. Gabriel Esteban announced Wednesday night in an email that almost all classes will be delivered remotely for the entirety of Spring Quarter and no Winter quarter final exams will take place on campus. Classes will go on as planned Thursday and Friday.

“In the interest of the health and safety of our community, DePaul has decided to take proactive, immediate steps to encourage social distancing — a practice that is encouraged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to limit the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus,” the email reads.

Students who live in residence halls were told to “prepare not to return for Spring Quarter,” according to the email.  Move-out details will be given directly to those students, the email said.

For students who can’t move out, the university said it will work with individual students with “exceptional circumstances.”

Some classes for which alternative instruction cannot be made possible will meet in person next quarter, and those classes will be determined by Academic Affairs with the deans.

Students with jobs on campus can expect to hear from their managers to determine whether working on campus is possible or not. Remote work may be offered.

Both campuses will remain open to faculty and staff; in-class instruction is the only operation ceasing, the email said.

No students have been diagnosed with coronavirus at this time. These decisions are made out of precaution, as recommended by public health agencies.

All campus buildings, such as the Ray Meyer Fitness Center and the libraries, will remain open, DePaul spokesperson Carol Hughes said, and students living in dorms who will still have in-person classes “will be accommodated.”

Hughes said she does not yet have information about June commencement ceremonies possibly being canceled.

It’s unclear if the university’s decision is set in stone.

The use of reusable cups and mugs is being suspended in dining halls.

The University of Illinois, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago announced similar precautions Wednesday.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.