COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado College, a private college in Colorado Springs, will move to virtual instruction starting March 30. The move comes amid growing coronavirus presumptive positive cases in Colorado.

(credit: CBS)

They state their decision came after Gov. Jared Polis declared a state of emergency.

School officials say they are also extending spring break by one week through March 29; large events are canceled; all students should be off campus by March 18.

Students who don’t have anywhere to go during spring break have to get special permission to stay on campus.

Faculty and staff will continue to work, unless they have symptoms or have been exposed to the virus.

“We are asking all members of the CC community – including faculty and staff – to be as conservative as possible with their travel plans,” the school stated.

While other schools have announced contingency plans, it is the first college to announce it will move all classes to virtual instruction.

(credit: CBS)

RELATED: Latest Updates On The Coronavirus Outbreak In Colorado

Other campuses are on standby to make adjustments as needed.

Metropolitan State University announced two telephone town halls Wednesday to update students, but told CBS4 Tuesday, no decision has been made with regard to moving to online learning.

The University of Denver sent a letter home to students Tuesday letting them know what resources are available. While it also has not made the decision to move online, it’s prepared staff for the possibility.

“We have been talking since late January about contingency planning; we did this when N1H1 came on. All units have contingency plans and we asked them to wipe them off, dust them off update them. Gather buy-in from chairs or senior leadership within their divisions. Last week I wrote a letter to faculty and said my expectation is we go paperless at the start of the spring quarter,” said Dr. Corrine Lengsfeld, Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor.

(credit: CBS)

Lengsfeld has only been interim Provost since July, but has worked for DU for the last 21 years. She has seen health scares come and go, but nothing like the reaction to coronavirus.

“This is ah, much different in my opinion than even N1H1 which was recent or relatively recent.”

While no decision has been made to shutdown campus, she says more and more staff are preparing for the reality.

“It also provides us opportunity if the state of Colorado asks the University of Colorado to move to an online learning environment, that we could quickly move in that way. We won’t be perfect. Right? It’ll be a switch overnight, but we will have done all the base work.”

DU Resources:

For students: Regardless of your status on campus, students have the resources of the Health and Counseling Center by calling 303-871-2205 or reaching out via email at info@hcc.du.edu.

Additionally, students have the opportunity to connect with a Student Outreach & Support (SOS) Case Manager to determine which support resource is best for their situation by calling 303-871-2400 or reaching out online at sos.du.edu.

For faculty and staff: SupportLinc is the Employee Assistance Program for the University of Denver for you and your immediate family members. All requests for information or assistance through the SupportLinc program are free of charge and completely confidential. You can contact SupportLinc anytime, around-the-clock, 365 days a year. To get started, call 1-888-881-LINC [5462], or log in to the SupportLinc website or eConnect® mobile app (iOS/Android) with the username universityofdenver.

Colorado College Information:

Questions can be emailed to covid19@coloradocollege.edu.

Additional Information from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:

  • Practice good hygiene. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. In the absence of soap and water, use hand-sanitizer; use your elbow or sleeve to cover coughs and sneezes
  • Stay home if you’re sick; keep your children home if they are sick. The illness can last for many days so make preparations now to work from home if possible.
  • We advise Coloradans to always be prepared for an emergency– like a large snowstorm– and have a plan for your family. Make sure to have 72 hours of key supplies on hand like medications, infant formula, diapers, pet food, etc. FEMA guidance for pre-pandemic COVID-19 preparedness is available on Ready.gov.
  • Stay informed with reliable, up-to-date information. People who have general questions about coronavirus disease 2019, can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email COHELP@RMPDC.org, for answers in English and Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more.
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