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Harvard urges students not to return to campus due to coronavirus

Renowned Harvard University has joined several U.S. colleges that have asked their students not to return to campus after the spring break because of the growing global coronavirus outbreak. Harvard President Tuesday morning Lawrence S. Bacow sent an email announcing that all Harvard courses would go online on March 23, the day after the official end of spring break.

A statement posted on the university's website on Tuesday said: "Students are asked not to return to campus after the spring break and to continue to complete academic requirements remotely until further notice." In addition, "students who must remain on campus" must "prepare for severely limited activities and interactions on campus" as the school moved to "non-essential gatherings of no more than 25 people".

The statement stressed that the decision to put all classes online was not taken lightly, but was made on the basis of "recommendations from leading health officials to limit the spread of COVID-19" and similar decisions by a number of our peer institutions. "

Columbia, Princeton, Stanford, Amherst, and Berkeley are some of the other U.S. colleges that have chosen to suspend face-to-face classes to help contain the coronavirus.

Harvard also sent a follow-up email to students who were still on campus, informing them that they had to move out of their dormitories by March 15 at 5:00 p.m. at the latest.

Seriously. How does that help pic.twitter.com/L5mUuGbPrI

- Nick Wyville (@nickwyville) March 10, 2020

The decision was made by the outcry of some students like Harvard Sr. Nick Wyvillewho tweeted that "some of us don't even have internet at home to" study virtually "" and that "some can't afford to suddenly get up and leave".

Harvard is asking students not to return to campus after the spring break.

1. Does H expect all students to actually leave campus during the spring break?
2. Some cannot afford to suddenly stand up and leave.
3. Some of us don't even have internet at home to “study virtually”.

- Nick Wyville (@nickwyville) March 10, 2020

Another Harvard Senior, Hakeem Angulu, tweeted that the decision put him in a difficult position as a student from Jamaica, as he expected to pack his things and book the trip home in five days while attending class.

like ... I can't go home to Jamaica, especially not on such short notice. The visa I work on after graduation requires that I stay in the US until I get the approval document in July. Where do I and the other students who work after completing the OPT go?

- hakeem (@hakeemangulu) March 10, 2020

On the university's website, students who were unable to leave campus were asked to "communicate with your school and Harvard University Housing to arrange suitable accommodation". Several Harvard employees directed Angulu on Twitter for further assistance.