By Michaela Lumpert, Campus Carrier News Editor
This morning, Berry College announced that it will be extending spring break by one week and then will provide two weeks of online-instruction. The change in plans was sent via the Berry Alert system to students, then posted by the President on the school’s website. It states that the college will be following the recommendations of Governor Brian Kemp, and will make a decision about the rest of the semester on March 30.
Students are advised to remain home over the extended break and the ensuing two weeks of online instruction. No further information has been provided about what will happen to students who remained on campus for spring break. The statement on Berry’s website states that more information will be conveyed to students as it is presented.
Before today’s announcement, the President’s office had stated that all campus events will be cancelled throughout March, including athletic events. According to the email, the Berry administration is continuing to monitor the situation and will update campus residents on the situation as new information arises.
Governor Kemp, in a message to Georgia residents, said that public colleges and universities should consider closing for the next two weeks if they feel the need. Floyd County Schools have announced that they will close until March 25 and Rome City Schools will be closed from March 13 to April 4. The Darlington School has also announced it will extend their spring break through March 23.
According to Hometown Headlines, Shorter University will move to online classes starting March 15 until April 10. Students have been asked to move out of their on-campus residences as well.
Around the country, major attractions and events are scheduled to close as officials put in place precautions to keep the public safe.
Broadway has gone dark, cancelling performances until April. According to The New York Times, shows will suspend performances and openings until New York Gov. Cuomo lifts the restrictions on public gatherings.
CNN News reported that Coachella and Stagecoach have been postponed until October due to the government’s restrictions on large group gatherings.
The State Department continues to pull students back to their home universities. As their website states, they recommend against travel to countries listed with a level 3 or 4 warning and are urging colleges and universities to cancel upcoming spring and summer travel plans.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a full page on recommendations that both college students and administrators can take when handing situations like what the nation is facing today. These recommendations include limiting large group gatherings, advising against student-to-student contact, disinfecting residence halls, dining halls and widely used student buildings and providing routine student screenings.
For more information on the situation, continue to check both Berry College’s announcements as well as local community announcements, national announcements and messages from the CDC, the State Department and the World Health Organization.