Kent State University, University of Akron Suspend In-Person Classes Amid COVID-19 Concerns

Mar 10, 2020

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. 

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. 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."

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 trend to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Ohio State University announced Monday it was suspending in person classes after health officials confirmed three cases in Cuyahoga County. 

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. 

Gov. Mike DeWine also held a press conference Tuesday, asking all colleges and universities to move classes online. 

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.  

Tips from the CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Avoid unnecessary contact (handshakes, high-fives, etc.)
  • Avoid large crowds
  • Wash hands for more than 20 seconds
  • Hand sanitizer is good in a pinch
  • If you're sick, stay home
  • Stay away from others who are sick

The Ohio Department of Health has opened a call center for questions relating to the coronavirus: 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). 

Editor's note: This story was updated to include the University of Akron's announcement.