Breaking: UMN prepares online courses, cancels university travel amid spring break COVID-19 threat

Tiana Meador, Editor-in-Chief

In an email Tuesday at 4:33 p.m. President Joan Gabel addressed the student body with an advisory that all non-essential university travel has been halted and instructors are being encouraged to prepare online material for students as the university closely monitors the current COVID-19 situation.

Currently, two university students are in self quarantine with no signs of COVID-19 symptoms. However, MDH has announced a second and a third presumptive COVID-19 case in the state.

Gabel wrote, “While the Duluth, Rochester and Twin Cities campuses are on Spring Break this week, and in anticipation of the Crookston and Morris campus breaks next week, we encourage our faculty to begin preparing to move classroom instruction online, especially for courses where this can be implemented immediately.”

Questions are expected regarding tuition costs since students expect in-person instruction. Furthermore, Gabel notified, “deliberative discussions among campus leaders and health officials, and based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the University of Minnesota is canceling all non-essential, University-funded travel, both domestic and international, as of Monday, March 16.”