WKU to suspend in-person instruction due to coronavirus

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- On Wednesday, Western Kentucky University joined a growing list of colleges and universities to suspend in-person classes due to the coronavirus.

Alternative instruction will be carried out from March 23-April 5.

Spring break will now continue through Sunday, March 22.

Decisions on athletic events will be made in consultation with the NCAA and Conference USA.

As of Wednesday afternoon, eight cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Kentucky, according to Gov. Andy Beshear. None of the cases involve individuals who live in the eight counties covered by the Barren River District Health Department.

This is a developing story. WNKY will have more at 5 p.m. on NBC and 6 p.m. on CBS.


WKU President Timothy Caboni stated, “Today, WKU is announcing changes in operations to better protect our communities and help mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures concerning course delivery, events, travel and telecommuting demonstrate our commitment to and care of our WKU family and beyond.

“To be clear, no cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed on or near our campuses. Therefore, the time to take action is now.

“We are extending spring break for our students through Sunday, March 22. Residence halls will open on schedule for any student who needs to return to campus. This will allow our faculty time to transition those courses currently taught face-to-face to an alternative delivery method. This will be a major undertaking, but necessary as we promote social distancing as a way of mitigating exposure.

“Beginning March 16 through April 5, we will implement a new policy for on-campus events. Anyone planning an on-campus, non-athletic event involving more than 50 people will need to reschedule, cancel or virtualize that event.  Decisions on athletic events will be made in consultation with the NCAA and Conference USA.

“Also beginning March 16, WKU is suspending all but mission-critical, university-funded travel, both international and domestic.

“Finally, we are directing all supervisors to provide maximum flexibility to their employees to work remotely, again promoting social distancing.  Tasks that can be performed from home, should be.

“WKU has been actively monitoring this situation for weeks. We have developed a COVID-19 task force that meets daily. We have also developed a website, wku.edu/covid19, that will serve as our central repository of information about the virus and how it relates to WKU. Communication with our campuses and communities will be continuing.”

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