On Friday, Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, announced that Ohio’s outbreak of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is not expected to peak until between late April and mid-May.
To the extent possible, Ohio Wesleyan had hoped to preserve the residential campus and in-person class experience for students and were making decisions with that goal in mind. Now, however, the course that the university must follow for the health and safety of the Bishop family is clear: Effective immediately, Ohio Wesleyan cancelling on-campus classes for the rest of the semester.
As a result, spring break will be extended through next week to enable OWU faculty to shift their work from creating a temporary remote-learning experience to planning for remote teaching and learning to continue throughout the semester. Classes will resume March 23.
Students who have petitioned and been approved to remain on campus will be permitted to remain through the semester should they wish to do so. Ohio Wesleyan will be making a partial room and board refund and will provide more information to students and families over the coming weeks.
The university has not yet made a decision about graduation and commencement weekend activities.
With the cancellation of on-campus classes, OWU’s Early Childhood Center also will close for the semester.
To support public health and safety, the university also is suspending on-campus visits from prospective students and families until April 6. During this time, prospective students are urged to take a virtual tour of our campus and contact Admission representatives for more information.
In a message to campus, President Rock Jones said he wanted “to take a moment to simply ask everyone, Are you OK? It has been a difficult week to be sure, and the next few weeks promise new challenges as we deal with the COVID-19 impact not only as a university, but also as a state, nation, and world.
“As we navigate these issues,” Jones said, “I want to take a moment to make sure we’re taking time to support each other – to ensure everyone is OK as we transition to remote learning and as we separate our on-campus family for the semester to help keep everyone safe.
“Fortunately,” he said, “we are able to FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangout, GroupMe, Tweet, Zoom, Snap, and even make an old-fashioned telephone call to check in on those we care about. … Wherever you are, know that I am thinking of you and praying that you are, and remain, OK until our paths cross again.”
For more information, visit www.owu.edu/COVID-19.
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