University of Tennessee Interim President Randy Boyd—in consultation with chancellors at UT Knoxville, UT Chattanooga, UT Martin and the UT Health Science Center—has announced that all in-person classes will be temporarily suspended until further notice as a proactive measure in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
UT Chattanooga will suspend in-person classes until March 30, while UT Knoxville and UT Martin will suspend in-person classes until April 3. Beginning March 23, UT Health Science Center until further notice will offer all face-to-face lecture classes remotely. Clinical rotations in hospitals will continue as usual.
While there are no reports of active confirmed cases involving COVID-19 on any University of Tennessee campus, there are confirmed cases in Tennessee.
“Our top priority is the health and safety of our students,” Boyd said. “We are taking this preventative measure with all of our campuses that provide face-to-face instruction out of an abundance of caution.”
Each campus will be sending out specific communications to their faculty, students and staff regarding the details of the suspension and any online accommodations that will be made.
“While we do not want to create undue anxiety on our campuses, we firmly believe that suspending our in-person classes is a prudent and important measure to take given the current COVID-19 situation,” Boyd said.
The UT System recently announced a comprehensive resource guide that provides information and resources surrounding COVID-19: tennessee.edu/coronavirus/.
In December 2019, the global health care community identified a new respiratory virus that originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and has since been labeled 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization—previously it was referred to as 2019-nCoV). Spread of coronavirus is correlated with circumstances of close and sustained contact with others who are infected.