Samford University moves to online instruction due to COVID-19 concerns



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Samford University in Birmingham announced Wednesday that beginning Monday — all of the school’s courses will move to online instruction to protect the health of the campus community.

“Samford intends to maintain essential operations through the end of this semester, thereby allowing students to complete the academic work already begun for this term,” university officials said in a notice on its website. “How that will be accomplished, at least until April 6, will change from our normal practice.”

While no cases of the rapidly spreading virus have yet to be reported near campus or in Alabama, the university’s “intent is to minimize for Samford students, faculty, employees and others their risk of exposure to COVID-19,”

All courses will be conducted online starting Monday, March 16 and Samford said it hopes to resume classes on campus on April 6.

“Until then, you will receive regular and frequent updates regarding all university operations that have been or may be impacted by the coronavirus,” the university said.

The decision does not affect Samford employees, who are expected to come to work on campus “until otherwise notified.”

Students living in university housing were told they can come to campus to retrieve books, laptops and other essential items until 5 p.m. Monday “for the limited purpose of claiming those items and then promptly exiting the campus.”

International students living in university housing will receive guidance from Samford’s global engagement office, while student-athletes will also get instructions from the athletic department about on-campus housing, meals, and team activities.

“In making these decisions, as well as many others in the days ahead, our intent is to minimize for Samford students, faculty, employees and others their risk of exposure to COVID-19,” the university said. “These actions by Samford are similar to those taken by many colleges and universities across the country.”

The school said it would give out more information about the decision at noon Thursday.