UF urges professors to prepare to move classes online ahead of coronavirus

Christian Ayers, Intern Reporter

According to a post by the University of Florida’s student news outlet the Alligator, University of Florida Provost Joe Glover suggested to UF professors that they begin moving all face-to-face classes online as a deterrent to potential coronavirus (COVID-19) spread in Gainesville on March 9. 

While not yet a requirement, the move to online classes before UF’s spring semester ends is a strong possibility, according to an email from the UF Public Affairs office. Prior to the Provost’s suggestions to move classes online, for anyone who has traveled to China, Japan, South Korea, Iran or Italy within the last few weeks, UF has barred them from campus temporarily.

At least one individual has been confirmed to have COVID-19 in Alachua County, a 68-year-old woman from Georgia, according to Paul Meyers of the Alachua County Department of Health. There are 23 confirmed cases in Florida as of March 11, and two deaths from the disease have occurred in the state thus far.

UF Sophomore Rami Shiblaq believes University of Florida’s decision to be in the best interest of students.

“I think it’s a good that the school is taking precautions before the virus has hit the area. It will be interesting to see how this change in class delivery will effect the rest of the semester,” they said to Spinnaker.

UNF has thus far not made any formal recommendations for professors to move coursework online. However, on Tuesday UNF suspended all international university travel for Spring and Summer 2020 sessions. This includes faculty-led and third-party study abroad programs, exchange programs, conferences and field work.

Spinnaker will continue to update with information concerning COVID-19 and how it will affect the UNF campus and student life.


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