UTA announced that it would be extending spring break one week longer in response to the coronavirus outbreak, according to an Office of the President email sent Thursday.
Classes will resume March 23 and transition online until further notice, according to the email. Students will receive information next week from their respective departments and faculty on how to access courses.
The decision comes after the World Health Organization classified the coronavirus outbreak, known as COVID-19, a pandemic Wednesday, and other universities, including UT-San Antonio and UT-Austin, have announced an extended spring break as well.
All current online classes will continue as scheduled starting March 15, according to the email. Faculty and staff will resume normal operations on March 16.
During this time, faculty and staff will work on finalizing plans to transition classes online, UTA spokesperson Joe Carpenter said in an email. Faculty and staff can coordinate with their departments regarding individual circumstances.
The university encourages students to stay away from campus, according to the Office of the President email. All campus events, tours and activities are canceled until April 6.
“For those students living in residence halls or University-owned apartments and who are unable to go home, housing and dining services will be available,” President Vistasp Karbhari stated in the email. “The campus is reviewing options to offer other essential support services.”
Additional information on available campus services will be announced once finalized, Carpenter said.
The medical clinic and pharmacy will maintain normal operating hours at the Health Center, said Devynn Case, UTA media relations assistant director, in an email. However, individuals with fever and respiratory symptoms that have recently traveled internationally and who have been in close contact with individuals known to have COVID-19 should call UTA Health Services before going to the Health Center.
Individuals returning to UTA from a country with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Level 2 or 3 travel warning will have to self-isolate off campus for 14 days and receive clearance by a medical professional before returning to campus, according to the Office of the President email.
The UTA community is also discouraged from traveling within the U.S.
Students, faculty and staff are required to report any personal international travel, including cruises, to the university through an international travel form. If a student, faculty or staff come in contact with an individual that has tested positive for the coronavirus, they are required to complete the close contact form.
UTA Health Services will contact the individuals with further directions related to quarantine check-ins and release to return to campus, according to the email.
“We understand some of these measures will be an inconvenience to some members of our community, but we take the health and safety of our Maverick family seriously,” Karbhari stated.