University of St. Thomas to cancel in-person classes

| March 12, 2020 | 0 Comments

The University of St. Thomas is suspending in-person classes effective March 16. DAVE HRBACEK | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT

The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul will suspend in-person classes starting March 16, with students instructed to continue their coursework online, the university announced March 12.

Although no cases of the coronavirus have been reported on campus, the university is taking the measures “to act in the best interests of our students, faculty and staff,” according to a statement released by the university.

In-person classes will not resume until at least April 14, even though “the risk to our community is low” at this time, the statement said. Also effective March 16, events that involve gatherings of 50 or more people on campus are canceled. During this time, the campus, including residence halls and dining halls, will remain open.

“This illness can spread rapidly,” the statement noted. “We also know that social distancing — limiting gatherings of people — can help to slow the spread of COVID-19. Given this, and a host of other factors, we are taking the following measures in an effort to help safeguard the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and surrounding communities.”

The statement also included remarks from President Julie Sullivan, who said, “I cannot stress enough that we are committed to maintaining a safe, healthy environment and will do everything possible to make decisions that are in the best interest of our community.”

She added: “Please pray for and exhibit compassion towards those most directly impacted by this illness. We are a strong community, and I am very proud of the dedication and care of all of those who are stepping up to help lead us through these challenging and changing circumstances. I am especially grateful to our faculty who are adjusting their teaching and ensuring academic continuity for our students. Through our action, resilience and God’s grace we will emerge from these present challenges as a stronger university in continual pursuit of the common good.”

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