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This page offers all of Delaware Public Media's ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting the First State. Check here regularly for the latest new and information.

University of Delaware classes move online in response to COVID-19

Delaware Public Media

The University of Delaware says it is immediately going to online learning for the rest of spring semester, or until further notice in response to the novel coronavirus.

The move comes as Delaware Health officials announce the first presumptive positive case in the First State is a University of Delaware faculty member.

UD President Dennis Assanis says the university has been preparing for over two months and has put together an emergency operations center. 

“We had all this scenario played out, including the steps that we would take the moment we had a confirmed case. and now we have a confirmed case on campus, so out of an abundance of caution, and concern for the safety and security of everyone in the academic community and the broader circle of people in our community … we will take a number of steps,” said Assanis.

To prepare for the switch to online teaching, the school is suspending classes for two days, Thursday and Friday. It is also moving Spring Break up. It will now begin Saturday, March 14.

University officials say students will be allowed to travel home or remain on campus during the break, at no additional cost.

Classes are scheduled to resume via online format on Monday, March 23. Students will be allowed to take the online classes from campus or home.

Assanis says the University is “strongly discouraging” students, faculty and staff from travelling internationally.

José-Luis Riera, vice president for student life, says if a student travels to what the University considers to be an "area of concern" for the novel coronavirus, they will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days before coming back to campus. He adds the University would report the situation to the Division of Public Health, and follow the division's guidance. 

The University recently cancelled its study abroad program in Italy. Students on that trip were asked to self-quarantine upon their return to the United States. 

This story has been updated. 



Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.