Harvard is moving all graduate and undergraduate classes online amid concerns about COVID-19. In a Tuesday statement, President Lawrence "Larry" Bacow said classes would ideally move online by March 23, when they were due to resume on campus following a spring recess. In an effort to "limit exposure to the disease among members of our community … students are asked not to return to campus after Spring Recess and to meet academic requirements remotely until further notice," Bacow said, per CBS Boston. In the meantime, "we are transitioning over the course of the next few days to non-essential gatherings of no more than 25 people." Bacow warned of "severely limited on-campus activities and interactions" in the near future.
The decision—which was "not made lightly"—came a day after Amherst College, some 90 miles east, announced it would transition to remote learning by March 23, per WCVB. "We know that many people will travel widely during spring break," and "the risk of having hundreds of people return from their travels to the campus is too great," said President Biddy Martin, noting classes for Thursday and Friday of this week would be canceled to allow faculty to adjust lesson plans. "Because the duration of this disruption is unclear, we encourage students to take as many of their belongings as possible," Martin added. As of Monday, there was one confirmed case and 40 presumptive cases of coronavirus in Massachusetts, per MassLive. (Read more coronavirus stories.)