YSU Extends Spring Break, Finalizing Plans for Alternative Instruction

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Youngstown State University announced late Tuesday that it will extend spring break through March 22 to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Students should not come to campus, said YSU President Jim Tressel in an email to students and staff. But employees – faculty, staff and administration – should report to work as usual. The university will provide guidance related to social distancing and enhanced preventative public health and hygiene, with more detail information to follow, he said.

“During the additional week of spring break, the university will finalize plans to initiate alternative instructional delivery methods that will allow most students to continue their education without coming to campus during the coronavirus outbreak. This step is in line with recommendations by Gov. Mike DeWine, “Tressel noted.

Other steps YSU is taking include:

  • All large, indoor campus events and gatherings are cancelled through March 30.
  • All university-sponsored travel, domestic as well as international, is suspended until further notice, unless deemed mission critical and approved by a vice president or associate vice president. The university is in contact with those students and faculty now on study abroad trips and will work for their safe return.
  • The university has plans in place to address the needs of students residing on campus. Students are strongly encouraged to remain home or in their apartments and to practice appropriate social distancing and enhanced preventative public health and hygiene measures.
  • The university has implemented its pandemic response plan, and its pandemic response team has been meeting over the past several days. We continue to align our response with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as local, state and federal health agencies and recent recommendations from Gov. DeWine.
  • A coronavirus information website has been set up to provide the latest updates.

“While there are no cases of COVID-19 at YSU, there are at least three confirmed cases in Ohio,” Tressel said. “We anticipate more. While we know that the measures we are introducing today for YSU will cause disruption, our decisions are always guided with the safety of our campus community in mind.”

The cancellation of public events includes the men’s postseason basketball game in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament Tuesday. The game will played as scheduled, but will be closed to fans. Those who have purchased tickets can get refunds by calling the Beeghly Center at 330 941 1978.

Earlier Tuesday, Eastern Gateway Community College said Interim President Michael Geoghegan joined his colleagues in Columbus today for the meeting with DeWine to discuss the state’s response to COVID-19, the disease spread by the coronavirus.

EGCC said Geoghegan will convene EGCC’s leadership team Wednesday “to operationalize the governor’s recommendation in a way that prioritizes health and safety and addresses the needs of students in hands-on workforce development programs that cannot be offered online. All online classes will continue as currently scheduled. College leadership, faculty and staff are all committed to ensuring as little disruption to our students’ education as possible.”

Kent State University cancelled classes yesterday and beginning March 16 all classes will be conducted remotely. Ohio State University also suspended in-person classes Tuesday and effective today is implementing virtual instruction.

Pictured: Two coronavirus cells via Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / Korea Open Government License Type 1

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.