Coronavirus: UCLA, USC, LMU shifting to online-only classes, holding sporting events without fans

WESTWOOD, LOS ANGELES -- Colleges and universities in Southern California are joining a growing wave of schools that are canceling in-person classes and shifting to online instruction to help contain the coronavirus outbreak.

UCLA, University of Southern California, Loyola Marymount, UC Irvine and UC Riverside are among the SoCal schools that are partly or fully moving to online-only instruction.

The shift also means home sporting events will be held on the UCLA and USC campuses without fans in attendance.

All around the country, other public schools and universities are canceling classes or shifting to online-only instruction in an effort to contain the outbreak.

There have been more than 119,000 cases of coronavirus diagnosed worldwide, with more than 4,200 deaths. In the United States, there have been more than 1,000 cases, with more than two dozen deaths.

Schools like Stanford, Duke, Princeton and Columbia are also shifting partly or fully to online-only classes.

USC

The University of Southern California this week was already testing an online-only model for a week in case it has to shift for the longer term.

Then Tuesday night, USC officials announced the online classes would continue for another week after spring recess, from March 22 to March 29.

"We encourage students not to return to campus during this time, but to take their classes remotely," the school said.

Sporting events would also be held without spectators at USC, although the school said it would make some exceptions for families of the athletes. The events will be streamed for students to watch.

UCLA

UCLA also has no confirmed cases at this time, according to Chancellor Gene D. Block.

Still, starting Wednesday in-person classes will be suspended "wherever possible" and switched to online platforms at least through April 10, which is the end of the second week of the spring quarter.


Winter quarter exams will be offered remotely, the school says. The campus itself, including housing, hospitals and laboratories, will remain open, but nonessential gatherings of more than 100 people will be canceled.

That includes sporting events on campus, which "will be largely spectator-free through April 10 and limited to individuals essential to safely and effectively managing events."

"For our entire community, please also remember that COVID-19 is clearly going to disrupt and change our schedules, habits and lives for the foreseeable future," Block wrote. "This will not be a perfect transition; however, it will not change who we are and what we do."

LOYOLA MARYMOUNT

Additionally, Loyola Marymount announced it is moving classroom instruction to the online format from March 16 to March 31. The school is on spring break this week and faculty members are testing out the technology. The school's three campuses, in Westchester, Playa Vista and downtown Los Angeles, remain open and operational. There have not been any suspected cases of coronavirus at LMU.

UC RIVERSIDE

Riverside says it has no known cases on campus at this time. Still, the school is also shifting to online-only classes. Some classes will continue in-person during a transition period.

Winter exams will be administered remotely. Spring quarter courses will shift to online through April 3.

Students who live on campus have been offered the option to move back home since they are taking classes remotely.

Large gatherings of more than 150 people are being canceled.

Sporting events at UC Riverside will also be held without fans in attendance.

UC IRVINE:

UC's Irvine campus is continuing classes in-person this week but is encouraging instructors to shift to online-only teaching. Final exams next week will be administered remotely. During spring quarter, the campus will shift to "remote learning mode," though exceptions will be made for situations such as working in a lab or studio.

Students who live on campus are encouraged to move back to their off-campus homes and stay there for the spring quarter.

Gatherings with more than 100 people are being canceled.

Athletic events will be held without spectators.
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