MTSU extends spring break, moves classes online due to coronavirus


MTSU has announced the extension of the university’s spring break until March 22 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, more commonly referred to as coronavirus. In addition, classes will resume remotely beginning March 23 and will continue as such until further notice.

“We continue to closely monitor developments and updates from federal and state public health officials regarding the rapidly evolving novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation,” said MTSU President Sidney McPhee in a university-wide alert. “As of today, MTSU has no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus. However, given today’s decision by the World Health Organization to declare the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, we are implementing several contingency options that we feel are necessary to protect the health and safety of our University community.”

McPhee advises off-campus students to remain home until further notice, while on-campus residents are allowed to stay in the campus housing facilities. MT Dining facilities will continue operating on a modified schedule, which will be released later.

Operating hours of the James E. Walker Library and campus computer labs will be announced soon as well.

All study abroad events have been canceled.

“I am further directing our staff to inform students currently abroad in University-sponsored programs of this cancellation and assist them with their expedient return to the U.S.,” McPhee said. “Students who opt to remain abroad will do so at their own risk and will be apart from our oversight.”

Other changes include:

  • The cancellation of all events non-athletic events, including “official university events, student events, non-University or external events, co-sponsored events and university-sponsored events” through Sunday, March 29. “We are in consultation with the NCAA and Conference USA regarding our continued participation in athletic contests,” McPhee said in the official statement. “We will not accept any campus event space reservations until further notice.”
  • The Tennessee Secondary School Athletics Association in Murphy Center will be continued “at the discretion of its leadership.”
  • “All non-essential official University-related travel, both outside of Tennessee and outside the country, has been suspended indefinitely. “We encourage all in our community to curtail personal international travel and be mindful of domestic travel,” said McPhee.

University offices will remain open per usual hours, though employees are urged to take “the appropriate preventative measures” detailed on the university website.

Also according to McPhee, “On the advice of our medical staff, anyone who has not received a flu vaccine this season should consider doing so. Also anyone who is ill, or thinks they may be ill, should stay home from work and seek medical care, as necessary.”

Any further changes to MTSU’s operating schedule based on COVID-19 will be made public through MTSU ALERT4U, also known as Rave Alerts, and other communication channels.

The university’s Crisis Management Team will meet daily and “work closely” with local and state public health officials to stay abreast of new developments from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Tennessee Department of Health.

“We appreciate your cooperation in helping us protect our campus community,” McPhee concluded.

Read the full statement here.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

To contact Editor-in-Chief Angele Latham, email editor@mtsusidelines.com.

For more news, visit www.mtsusidelines.com, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News

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