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University of Akron cancels all classes until March 30 amid coronavirus threat

All classes will be conducted remotely once students return from spring break on March 30.

AKRON, Ohio — Shortly after Gov. Mike DeWine advised Ohio's colleges and universities to shift to remote online classes due to coronavirus until further notice, the University of Akron has announced that it is stopping face-to-face instruction effective at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday. 

The school says no classes will be held for the rest of the week or next week to give its faculty time to migrate their courses to online instruction when spring break ends on March 30. Several other local colleges, including Kent State and John Carroll, have also heeded the governor's warning.

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"We’re convinced we can offer a quality online experience for students but believe that it is prudent to have the time to properly prepare that coursework," university President Gary L. Miller said in a statement. "Not holding classes between now and March 30th, when spring break concludes, will give the faculty and staff the needed time to be prepared and make sure students have the ability to access online offerings."

During this time, students are free to leave school and return home. However, residence halls will remain open, and no refunds will be given for time not spent there. Food, dining, and other campus services will also continue, but scheduled large events will be canceled through at least April 20.

The education recommendations were part of a series of advisories given by DeWine Tuesday, including him asking that all indoor sporting events be held without most spectators until further notice. Akron's men's basketball team is scheduled to compete in the MAC Tournament starting this Thursday at Cleveland's Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, but it is unknown if fans will still be allowed in.

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U of A is asking all students who have recently traveled outside the country or who may be exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus to immediately contact University Health Services.

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