It will happen across all five campuses including Crookston

University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel announced in an email Wednesday that they are suspending in-person instruction, including field experiences and clinicals, across all five campuses, including Crookston, and will be moving to online or alternative instruction.

Students on the Crookston and Morris campuses will have in-person classes through Friday, March 13. The other three campuses are currently on Spring Break.

"As the challenges presented by COVID-19 continue to change rapidly, the University of Minnesota’s top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our University community," said Gabel. "While there are no known cases of COVID-19 reported in our system, as a precautionary measure to mitigate the risk of exposure to our University community, we are implementing the following action steps consistent with many of our peer institutions across the country."

Gabel said spring break will be extended on the Duluth, Rochester and Twin Cities campuses until Wednesday, March 18, then students will resume classes there through online or alternative instruction. She added that all students on all campuses will be taught virtually through at least Wednesday, April 1.

"As we evaluate these measures on an ongoing basis, we will let you know as soon as possible if we extend the online-only instruction period," she added.

For those classes that cannot be taught online, instructors will contact students with further information.

"Students are encouraged to stay home and continue classes online. However, we recognize that for some students the safest, most secure place will be on one of our five campuses," Gabel continued. "At this time, residence halls, dining services, and other student services will continue. Should on-campus student services be reduced as a result of these changes, we will let you know."

Those returning to campus should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health advice on hygiene and prevention.

In regards to campus operations, Gabel said University of Minnesota campuses will continue normal operations and all employees of the University should report for work as standard. Employees are to contact their Human Resources departments for more information.

"I also want to provide some additional clarity to my message yesterday regarding systemwide travel restrictions that may be helpful to your planning," Gabel stated. "All non-essential international and domestic travel by faculty, staff, and students for University purposes is prohibited, regardless of funding source. Please note that staff travel between campuses for essential operations is still permitted."

Gabel said the restrictions cover travel occurring March 16 to April 30 and those restrictions will be re-evaluated on March 31.

"At this time, the only restrictions on education abroad programs are for spring, May term, and summer programs in CDC Level 3 advisory countries," she added. "As of today, those include China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy."

For more information on international travel and education abroad programs, see the GPS Alliance’s COVID-19 information for travelers.

"Due to COVID-19, we find ourselves responding to unique challenges that require innovative solutions," Gabel continued. "I recognize that our responsive actions, including those I’m announcing today, may raise questions for many of you. While we do not have all of the answers at this moment, please know that we are working around the clock to find answers and solutions."

"Thank you for your continued patience and partnership through this difficult time. We are doing what we can to mitigate the spread of the virus. Remember to take care of yourself and, if needed, we have support available for staff and students, in-person or remotely."