The University of Miami has announced it will be extending Spring Break through March 22nd and classes will resume on March 23rd online only. The change will be in effect through at least April 4th. The university had previously issued a health advisory for the University Community with cancellation of University events of more than 50 people (except sporting events) and policies for the remainder of the March due to COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Yesterday, the State of Florida University System instructed State Colleges and University to immediately begin transitioning to online learning. For Colleges and Universities currently on Spring break, students will be asked not to return for two weeks after Spring break, while those that have concluded their Spring Breaks will be ceasing in-person classes for two weeks.
Hundreds of Colleges and Universities have cancelled all in-person classes in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Florida International University has asked all members of the University Community to avoid all international and domestic travel through April 1st.
Here is the University of Miami’s Advisory:
Health Advisory: Coronavirus Update No. 6
Issued Wednesday, March 11, 2020
To the University of Miami Community,
We are writing to keep you updated on new developments in our response to the global outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). While there remains a high level of uncertainty, it is absolutely clear that we, along with other universities, have a responsibility to institute new mitigation practices. We recognize that these actions may be disruptive, but our actions are guided by the recommendations of leading health officials and by our priority to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our community.
This email contains critical information and updates. Please take time to review it in its entirety.
- Classes will resume as scheduled on all University campuses on Monday, March 16.
- We are curtailing large University events and meetings, at least until March 31.
- This policy does not pertain to classes or in-person academic instruction. (Additional information regarding classes can be found below.)
- Effective Sunday, March 15, through Tuesday, March 31, all campus events or meetings with 50 of more attendees, including external events, are canceled, with the following exceptions:
- University athletics events will follow NCAA, ACC, and State of Florida guidelines. At this time no changes have been made to scheduled athletics events.
- Election polling on campus will continue. The Florida primary is scheduled for March 17.
- Additional information on events occurring after April 1 will be communicated no later than March 25.
- At this time, commencement activities to be held May 7, 8, and 9, will proceed as scheduled. Any changes to that schedule will be announced by April 15.
3. We are preparing for the possibility of moving classes online, if necessary.
- At this time, we are in alignment with current public health recommendations, which do not warrant a suspension of on-site learning at our campuses.
- We are working with deans and faculty members to prepare for the possibility of remote and virtual instruction for some (or possibly all) courses. As the spread of the virus is fast-changing, we will update the community with more definitive guidance as needed.
- Faculty should be prepared to test the delivery of course materials via online learning platforms on Wednesday, March 18, and Thursday, March 19.
4. We are asking employees on the Coral Gables and Marine campuses (who are not part of the UHealth system) to work from home on Friday, March 13, as part of a practice test for staff to work remotely. While there are no reported cases in Miami-Dade County, the time to prepare is now.
- Every major function of the University has contingency plans in place to ensure business continuity if a modified work schedule needs to be implemented in the future. Accordingly, on Friday, March 13, while students are on spring break, we are initiating a preparedness drill on the Coral Gables and Marine campuses to identify any operational issues that may arise so that potential interruptions can be addressed prior to activating these plans.
- With the exception of Tier One employees who support critical functions that cannot be performed remotely, all employees not part of the UHealth system who are on the Coral Gables and Marine campuses are encouraged to use this Friday, March 13, as a work-from-home day. Coordination of this drill will be handled at the unit level, and supervisors are encouraged to discuss and set clear expectations with their employees.
- This is a work-from-home day, not a stay-at-home day. The purpose for this exercise is to test systems of communication and other vital functions to ensure business continuity and to identify any issues that arise, so all employees must be working and accessible throughout normal working hours.
5. We are asking all units and all researchers to update their continuity plans.
- All units, including those engaged in research, are strongly encouraged to review and update continuity plans to minimize the impact to ongoing projects as a result of potential for future changes due to COVID-19. Visit www.miami.edu/UReady for additional guidance.
6. All University-related international travel is prohibited. University-related domestic travel must receive prior approval by a supervising dean or vice president.
- All travel, both international and domestic, by any employee who operates in or supports clinical care is prohibited to ensure appropriate staffing levels should situations warrant.
- Any member of the University community who travels to or from China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea, or Spain will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return.
- Students returning from these countries or areas must contact Student Health Service at firstname.lastname@example.org; staff, faculty members, or visiting scholars returning from these regions must contact UHealth Infection Control at 786-427-5018 prior to coming to campus.
- We also strongly discourage all members of the University community from any personal travel using mass transit (excluding localized mass transit, such as Metrorail or Tri-Rail).
- Travel for University athletics will continue to follow NCAA and ACC guidelines.
7. We are restricting guest access to residence halls.
- Effective Monday, March 16, access to University residence halls will be limited to University students, staff, and faculty. Outside guests will not be permitted inside residence halls.
- ’Cane Card access will be required to enter outside doors of the residential colleges at 5 p.m. daily, rather than 10 p.m., beginning on March 16.
On Monday, March 9, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in Florida. The designation allows the state to take proactive and effective measures to address the coronavirus outbreak. While there are 14 confirmed cases in Florida, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus among members of the University of Miami community or in Miami-Dade County.
The situation remains fluid and University guidelines may evolve. We will continue to provide regular updates. This information, as well as prior University advisories and links to additional resources, can be found on the University’s designated coronavirus site at news.miami.edu/coronavirus.
These updates are important not only for you, but also for your family, so we ask that you share this communication with parents and other family members as appropriate.