Case Western Reserve University is suspending classes and offering "remote delivery of education," and requesting that students on campus move home, effective March 18.
A March 10 email from Barbara Snyder, president, and Ben Vinson III, provost and executive vice president, laid out the plan, following the announcement that three people in Cuyahoga County have tested positive for coronavirus. Gov. Mike DeWine recommended that large group gatherings be curtailed on March 10.
"We write to inform you that recent Northeast Ohio developments involving COVID-19 have prompted the university to take several significant steps involving teaching and learning," the two wrote. "We very much regret the need to disrupt this semester in such a profound manner, but feel this choice is required for the health and safety of the campus community."
The email announced that classes will be canceled March 16 and March 17, following the university's spring break through April 6.
"In between, we will closely monitor COVID-19 developments within our region and nationwide, and will communicate any changes to that end date as quickly as possible," they wrote.
Students in clinical activities will be allowed to continue under guidance of their respective deans, Snyder and Vinson wrote.
"Those who have traveled outside of Cleveland this week are encouraged to return to their family homes; those who stayed on campus this week also are encouraged to go home to their families," the two wrote. "Those who need to retrieve additional items from their on-campus housing before returning home are, of course, permitted to do so."
Meals, cleaning and maintenance will continue for students "with extenuating circumstances," the email stated.
"We recognize that all of these changes represent significant disruptions to the semester, and that many of you will have additional questions," they wrote, promising to update with information as soon as possible."For now, please know that the health and well-being of our students is the university’s highest priority. We regret that circumstances related to COVID-19 require these difficult choices, and appreciate your patience and understanding as we implement them."