WIU cancels in-person classes through end of semester

MACOMB, Ill. (NEWS3) — Western Illinois University officials announced the school will continue using alternative formats for the remainder of the spring semester.

This comes one week after the university extended its spring break by a week due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

WIU Interim President Martin Abraham said in a press release, starting Saturday, classes for the spring semester will continue in electronic delivery formats of the instructor’s choice. 

“Faculty members will be in touch with their students regarding how and when classes will meet,” Abraham said. “While this is a difficult decision as this changes the on-campus academic experience for our students, faculty and staff, it is necessary.”

Abraham said residence halls will remain open and the Corbin-Olson Dining Center and C-Store are open to serve the campus. The university did not release information on if students would receive refunds for housing and dining. NEWS3 was told details would be released soon. 

All campus events scheduled for the rest of the semester are cancelled and information regarding Spring 2020 commencement will be announced at a later date. 

“While this situation certainly has changed our spring schedule, I want our returning and new students to know that we will be ready for Fall 2020,” Abraham said. 

Officials said there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus at WIU, but they want to take steps to ensure the safety of the community. 

Abraham said employees and students who feel ill should stay home and contact their doctor. 

Officials encourage students, faculty and staff not to visit areas with high numbers of reported cases within the U.S. Anyone who returns from high-risk areas in the U.S. or abroad could be required to self-isolate for 14 days. 

The Office of Risk Management and the Beau Health Center are offering a website with information about the coronavirus. The website lists up-to-date information about COVID-19, including tips on how to avoid transmitting illnesses.