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Coronavirus In Ohio: More Colleges Cancel Classes At DeWine's Urging

Risman Plaza on the campus of Kent State University.
Kent State University
Risman Plaza on the campus of Kent State University.

Kent State University and the University of Akron have announced starting Tuesday afternoon, all in-person classes will be moved online to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a disease caused by the coronavirus. 

Miami University, the University of Toledo, the University of Akron, University of Cincinnati and other colleges around the state have similarly suspended face-to-face classes.

Kent State president Todd Diacon sent an email to the community with the following schedule:

  • March 16-20: Classes will be held via remote instruction.
  • March 23-29: Spring break will occur as scheduled.
  • March 30-April 10: Classes will be held via remote instruction.
  • April 13: Face-to-face classes will resume.

University of Akron President Gary Miller sent an email with a similar schedule: 
"No classes will be held the rest of this week or next week to allow faculty time to develop their plans for migrating their courses to on-line instruction when the University returns from spring break on March 30," the email reads. "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. Not holding classes between now and March 30, 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."

Coronavirus In Ohio: Live Coverage

At Kent State, students are encouraged to go home, but residence and dining halls will remain open. The Warren Student Recreation and Wellness Center will be closed until April 13, and all events on campus are canceled until April 12. All university-sponsored travel is also canceled until in-person classes resume. 

University of Akron is canceling all events until April 20, and its residence halls will also remain open.

Kent State and University of Akron are the most recent colleges to follow a national trendto help stop the spread of COVID-19. Ohio State University announced Monday it would suspend in-person classes through the end of the month.

After health officials confirmed three cases of coronavirus in Cuyahoga County, Gov. Mike DeWine held a press conference Tuesday asking all colleges and universities to move classes online. 

Fifteen people are currently being tested, according to the Ohio Department of Health. No cases have been confirmed on Kent State or University of Akron's campuses. 

Earlier Tuesday, two students from Solon High School and four students from Hawken Upper School in Gates Mills were in self-quarantine after health officials determined they had contact with one of the three confirmed cases in Ohio.  

The Ohio Department of Health makes the following recommendations to protect yourself from illness:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands. 
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable. 
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

Ohio's coronavirus call center is open to answer questions from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The hotline number is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH or 1-833-427-5634.

Lydia Taylor is a news intern for WKSU. She is a junior multimedia journalism major at Kent State University with experience in print and visual journalism. She is currently working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Multimedia Journalism. During the school year, Taylor works for Kent State Student Media in The Kent Stater and KentWired. She is currently an assigning editor and a reporter in the Kent State University Student Media Newsroom for the spring semester.