Spring semester at the University of Minnesota will continue through alternative instruction rather than in-person instruction, according to an email by University President Joan Gabel.
"We are experiencing unprecedented times. Having closed campuses for weather in the past and developing responses for a million issues in between, I never anticipated that any of us would face a challenge like the one we are facing now with COVID-19," the email reads.
Graduation ceremonies are canceled, and students must apply for graduation in the normal manner.
The email asks that students not return to campus if they have a safe alternative. The University will ensure there is sufficient space in residence halls, although housing may be consolidated. "None of us can predict how long the present situation may last and if you remain on campus you might be here for some time with very limited services," the email said.
The University is also exploring possible housing refunds and will update the student body as answers become available.
Systemwide buildings will go into "weekend mode," meaning they will require a U Card for access. All recreation centers will close, along with all recreational and wellness programs besides mental health programming.
The email said all employees are expected to work from home starting Wednesday, March 18, which is "not optional for faculty and staff at all levels of the organization systemwide," except for those where their job requires their physical presence.
This is a breaking news report. More information will be added as it becomes available.