North Texas Daily

UNT cancels in-person classes through March 22 due to coronavirus concerns

UNT cancels in-person classes through March 22 due to coronavirus concerns

UNT cancels in-person classes through March 22 due to coronavirus concerns
March 12
11:58 2020

UPDATE (4:33 p.m.) — UNT has announced through the Office of the Chancellor that all in-person classes will be moved to online-instruction only, “wherever possible” and instruction will resume March 23. All business services, residence halls and dining facilities will remain open.  The UNT Health Science Service and UNT Dallas will also move to alternate forms of instruction starting March 13.

UNT has announced that in-person classes will be canceled through March 23 due to concerns about the coronavirus.

“Our campus health teams and executive leadership have been continuously following the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), with a focus on safeguarding the well-being of our students, staff, faculty and community,” President Neal Smatresk said in a press release.

Between March 16-22, all in-person classes for the week of  will be canceled while online classes will go on as planned. Students will receive details about their classes on March 19 and all classes will resume on March 23.

Students are being encouraged to stay off campus between March 16-22, while residence and dining halls will remain open. UNT is also suspending all university-sponsored travel until further notice and beginning March 23, events with more than 250 people that don’t affect the business community will be postponed.

“Based on what we have seen from our colleagues nationwide and guidance from health and risk management officials, our timeline and responses are appropriate and proactive for our current situation as there were still no reported cases in Denton or our community as of this morning,” Leigh Anne Gullett, a university spokesperson said, in response to follow-up questions sent by the North Texas Daily. “Because of questions exactly like those you are posing regarding academics and many other concerns we have for our community, we have been taking deliberate, measured steps to ensure we are responding to this issue quickly but with the ability to protect our students’ ability to finish their semester on time.”

Gullett also said that the university does have a pandemic plan, “which which provides a flexible framework for addressing issues as things change.”

“The plan establishes different levels and recommended actions for what is appropriate at each level,” Gullett said.

UNT’s announcement follows over a dozen of other colleges pushing back their spring breaks and moving to online classes.

Currently, there are 1,380 cases of coronavirus in the United States, with cases reported in Collin, Dallas and Tarrant counties. Denton County Public Health is also actively monitoring 26 people for symptoms of the virus, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle. 

To prevent infection, the Centers for Disease Control and Protection recommends people wash their hands often, avoid touching their faces and coming in close contact with people who are sick, stay home if they are sick and cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue.

UNT previously announced that they would suspend study abroad programs to China, Iran, South Korea, Italy and Japan.

Featured Image: UNT President Neal Smatresk listens you questions asked during presidential town hall on Feb. 20, 2020. Image by John Anderson

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Lizzy Spangler

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